Since his arrival in England, Thomas Partey has not had an iota of luck. Injuries have robbed him of continuity in a team that has fallen out of favor while he was in the infirmary. Just 370 minutes into the season, no goals, no assists and the feeling that the Gunners' biggest signing this summer hasn't even landed yet. With Arsenal gradually straightening their course, after blatantly flirting with the relegation places, Arteta is now holding on to him to make the leap in quality that allows them to fight for more than just permanence this season. This second round, he insinuates, has to be Thomas's.
“We are in January and I think he has only been able to play two and a half games in the league,” his coach lamented at a press conference. “He was our star signing, of course we have missed him. He brings something different to the team, he is a player with an enormous talent who can transform the rest into what we want. If we can count on him, without him suffering further injuries, he will give us a lot ”.
That direct or indirect incidence that Arteta talks about is reflected in the fact that the last time he played 90 minutes, that is, on November 1, things were very different for Londoners. That day they beat Manchester United, which they sent to 15th position, and were only 5 points behind the Premier's throne with a spectacular game from the Ghanaian. Today, it is the Red Devils who can escape solo leaders with a 6-point advantage if they beat Liverpool, while the Gunners are closer to the abyss of the second division than the trophy of champions.
Today, against Crystal Palace, the former Atlético de Madrid once again have the opportunity to reconnect with his game, with his physique and with himself, something that had not happened since last December 6. “He has a different presence, and we are not only talking about talent or physique, we are talking about him as a person. He makes the players around him better and that is an enormous quality ”, says his coach, who has finally been able to breathe after a streak of four consecutive victories.