Mikel Arteta says Thomas Partey is now ‘in a really good place’ and has revealed Arsenal have adapted their system in recent weeks to get the best out of their £45m star.
The Ghana international has struggled for consistency since making the move to north London from Atletico Madrid, but has shown signs of his best form since the turn of the year.
Partey’s recent performances saw him voted Arsenal’s player of the month for February and Arteta believes the level his midfielder is now setting has to be the benchmark going forward.
What did Arteta say?
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s game against Leicester City, Arsenal’s manager was asked whether Partey beating in-form Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka to the February player of the month award was an indicator of the level he is now producing.
“Yes, and it shows what he can do,’ Arteta replied.
“And he should be with those contenders because the ability he has is up there with the best in the team. Now he needs to show consistently that he can do that.”
Adapting Arsenal’s style to suit Partey
Arteta has tweaked Arsenal’s system in recent games, using more of a 4-3-3 system, rather than the 4-2-3-1 he has tended to go with since the start of the campaign.
The change has seen Granit Xhaka play in a more advanced role, with Partey operating as the deepest sitting midfielder and Arteta admits that switch has been done to try and get more out of the 28-year-old.
Arteta said: “We are trying to adapt the game a little bit.
“Some of the things we are doing is to try and adapt the game for him to be able to be more decisive, to create more space for him.
“I think he is taking things well.
“It is the work we do in training to try to facilitate to players to exploit their qualities as much as possible.”
Partey’s best form
Arteta believes the form Partey is now demonstrating shows that he is now finally settled at Arsenal, nearly 20 months after arriving in England.
‘That’s why we decided to sign him,” said the Arsenal boss. “everything takes some time.
“We have to recognise that he had a lot of injuries as well in a period where he didn’t get any consistency in terms of minutes and match exposure.
“He needed to adapt to a completely different game model than he was used to and now I think he is in a really good place.”