Thomas Partey boasts the potential at Arsenal that will allow him to get “close to being as good as Patrick Vieira”, says Ray Parlour.
With the Gunners crying out for another combative presence in the middle of the park, Mikel Arteta hopes a solution to that problem has been found.
On deadline day of the summer transfer window, those at Emirates Stadium agreed to trigger the £45 million ($58m) release clause in Partey’s contract at Atletico Madrid.
Parlour is among those expecting big things from the 27-year-old midfielder, saying it is possible that he could become the natural heir to an Arsenal icon of the past.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing Partey. They haven’t got the energy in that midfield and Partey will bring that,” former Gunners star Parlour told talkSPORT. “I’ve seen him play quite a few times for Atletico and he’s very effective.
“I’m really looking forward to see how he copes in the Premier League as well. Hopefully he’s going to play a major part if there is any success moving forward for Arsenal, trying to get in that top four.
“I think Arteta highlighted him early and said he’s the sort of player we need in that midfield area, because they are a bit lightweight at times in central midfield. I know it’s very difficult to get a replacement of Patrick Vieira, but they’ve not really got someone like him and I think Partey could be close to being as good as Patrick.”
Parlour is not the first to suggest that Partey can become a key figure for the Gunners, with Kevin Campbell another to have talked up his obvious qualities.
“Thomas Partey was the signing of the transfer window,” ex-Gunners frontman Campbell told GentingBet. “For Arsenal to get him for £45m is tremendous business – Arsenal almost went in with balaclavas on and stole him!
“Atletico Madrid dropped the ball by only having a £45m release clause, he is a player that is a lot better than £45m in this current market, but that was the release cause and Arsenal met it and they have their man.
“It is a key position for the club, he is moving into his prime and he will spend those years at the football club, so he is someone that the club can build around in midfield.”