Thomas Partey is back from injury and in contention to play for Arsenal against Liverpool in this weekend’s big Premier League clash at Anfield.
The Ghana international has never quite stamped his authority on a game like we saw him do during his time at Atletico Madrid, with niggling injury issues holding him back.
According to The Athletic, Partey is over his latest injury and looks set to play a part against Liverpool in this intriguing top four six-pointer coming up on Saturday.
Arsenal are on a strong run after initially getting off to such a dire start to the season, while Liverpool have shown signs of a bit of a wobble in recent times.
Having thrashed Manchester United 5-0 at Old Trafford, the Reds then went and let a two-goal lead slip at home to Brighton to draw 2-2, with West Ham then surprising them with a 3-2 victory before the international break.
Somehow, this means Mikel Arteta’s side are now only two points behind Jurgen Klopp’s men in the Premier League table, with everything to play for at Anfield this weekend.
It’s therefore vital for Partey to finally step up put in the kind of all-action midfield display we saw of him during that famous night when Atletico Madrid won 3-2 on Merseyside in the final Champions League game before the first UK lockdown in March 2020.
Partey would go on to join Arsenal that summer for £45million (fee via BBC Sport) in what looked a hugely exciting move at the time for one of the game’s finest all-rounders in the middle of the park.
Most fans will surely feel Partey has shown glimpses of his potential, but we’re yet to really see him boss a game of this magnitude. Even if Liverpool might be there for the taking, it would be a major statement by Arsenal if they could pull off a victory this weekend.
Arsenal haven’t won away to Liverpool in the league since all the way back in 2012, and the Gunners’ record against the Merseyside giants since Klopp took over has been particularly poor.
Disrupting Liverpool’s passing options will be crucial for Arsenal if they want to come away with anything from this game, and Partey has both the energy and awareness to dominate in those key areas.
Make no mistake, if AFC are too passive in that department, Liverpool have the quality to pass their way through and dismantle teams, just as they did against the hapless Fred at Old Trafford. Against West Ham, by contrast, they struggled to get around the immense Declan Rice, and Partey is surely Arsenal’s best answer to Rice in their current squad.
Just over a year after signing Partey, Arsenal fans will be wondering if the investment was worth it, and if he’s going to change minds and lay down a real marker for his career in England, this is the kind of game to do it.