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World Cup

Muntari: I didn't see Partey against South Korea and Uruguay - Ghana legend wants Arsenal star to step up

19:38 GMT+3 04/12/2022
Thomas Partey of Ghana.
Former Ghana midfielder Sulley Muntari believes Thomas Partey would take the Black Stars to another level if he 'switched' on his potential.
  • Muntari feels Partey is not giving enough to the Black Stars
  • The former midfielder would like to see the Arsenal star improve
  • The 29-year-old has been criticised for sub-par displays in Qatar

WHAT HAPPENED? Partey has been criticised for not performing well for the Black Stars at the World Cup and Muntari, who made 84 appearances while scoring 20 goals for Ghana, feels the Arsenal midfielder can make the national team ‘unplayable’ if he upped the ante.

WHAT DID HE SAY? “Partey is excellent, superb, a world-class player, you can’t take that away from him,” Muntari told Ghana’s 3SportsGh. “He is so intelligent in midfield, very elegant when he plays, it is a joy to watch.”

“With the national team, I sit up there and then think, sometimes I don’t see him around the team like these two games (South Korea and Uruguay) but if Partey switched for like 25 percent of his strength, his mind, intelligence, the way he can play, Ghana would be massive.”

“He is so smart and intelligent that he would change everything that we do. Basically, how the Black Stars play will change for better.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Partey featured in all three games for Ghana as they started with a 3-2 loss to Portugal before winning by the same margin against South Korea, followed by a 2-0 defeat to Uruguay.

The 29-year-old averaged 60 passes per match with a completion rate of 84 percent but did not have a shot on target from his two attempts, neither did he manage an assist.

Having made several forward runs for Arsenal where he had scored two goals before the World Cup break, Black Stars fans were disappointed that he employed a conservative approach in Qatar, eliciting sentiments that he produces more for his club than the national team.

WHAT’S MORE? Partey had, however, responded to the criticism, saying he was playing to his coach’s instructions. “Most people expect a lot from me, but we are playing as a team and I listen to the coach and do what he tells me,” Partey said in a pre-match interview ahead of the Uruguay game.

“You know you can do something better, but you have to stick with what the team wants and not individuality.”

WHAT’S NEXT? Partey will soon link up with Arsenal who are in Dubai for a warm-weather training camp ahead of the Premier League resumption at the end of December.