African All Stars

Partey can’t expect to play every week at Arsenal – Mendieta

09:43 EAT 21/03/2021
Thomas Partey, Arsenal, Matty Longstaff, Newcastle, Premier League 2020-21
Following his October move to the Emirates Stadium, the Ghana midfielder has featured in half of the Gunners' league matches this season

Former Barcelona and Valencia midfielder Gaizka Mendieta said Thomas Partey should not expect to play every game at Arsenal because of the 'evolving' state of football.

Despite battling with injuries, the 27-year-old has 19 appearances in all competitions for Mikel Arteta's side since his permanent move from Atletico Madrid in October.

After playing every minute in the Gunners' 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur last Sunday, Partey dropped to the bench on Thursday but he was later introduced as a 57th-minute substitute in their 1-0 Uefa Europa League defeat to Olympiacos.

The Ghana star is expected to play a part when Arsenal visit West Ham United on Sunday, however, Mendieta – who had stints in England and Spain during his career – thinks his chances of playing are not just limited to competition for places in Arteta's team.

"When you analyse football nowadays like in many clubs, there is not many players that play every single game not only because of the sort of competition within the team especially in big clubs like Atletico Madrid but also because of the number of games,” Mendieta told Goal during a LaLiga hangout.

“Sometimes players - even when I was playing, don't really see that from outside and I understand why he felt he should be playing more often. I think, my guess is that he will be similar in Arsenal, whenever he goes to a big club he is going to be in a similar situation because football is evolving, there is not many players that feature week in, week out.

“He's got to understand that football is in that way now these days. Hopefully for him, there is no injury that will stop that progression and he is new in the environment."

Partey is gradually establishing his presence in the Gunners' midfield with his fine performances and he has contributed two assists so far in all competitions (one each in the Premier League and Europa League).