The long-running saga of Arsenal attempting to find a defensive midfielder who adequately protects their defence appears as though it may be coming to an end. Alex Song, current manager Mikel Arteta, Francis Coquelin and Granit Xhaka are among those to have been tried and ultimately failed there, but £45m signing Thomas Partey could turn out to be the solution.
Injury problems have dogged the early part of his Arsenal career but, when he has been fit, the former Atlético Madrid man has made Arteta’s team look far more assured. “You can see his quality,” Arteta said. “You can see the presence and the special qualities he provides to the team when he is on the pitch. I think it is just a fact of playing more games, getting some chemistry and understanding with his teammates and getting as fit as he possibly can.”