Partey becomes first Ghanaian to start a competitive game for Arsenal in eight years

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Thomas Partey Arsenal 2020-21
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The Black Stars midfielder has been handed a spot in the Gunners’ starting XI for their Europa League opener in Austria

Thomas Partey has become the first Ghanaian player to start a competitive match for Arsenal since Emmanuel Frimpong in October 2012.

The 27-year-old was handed his full debut as Mikel Arteta's side began their Uefa Europa League campaign against Rapid Vienna at Allianz Stadion on Thursday.

Partey partners Egypt's Mohamed Elneny in the middle of the park while Ivory Coast's Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka are positioned on the flanks.

Frimpong was the last Ghanaian player to start a match for the Gunners eight years ago in their thrilling 7-5 victory over Reading in a League Cup fixture.

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Partey joined Arsenal on a four-year deal with the option of an additional season on October 5, bringing an end to his nine-year stint at Atletico Madrid.

He made his Europa League bow in 2018 when Atletico thrashed Copenhagen 4-1 on the road.

On Saturday, the Ghana international made his Premier League debut as an 83rd-minute substitute for Granit Xhaka in their 1-0 loss to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

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