Ex-Arsenal scout suggests new role for Thomas Partey under Mikel Arteta

Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey
Thomas Partey will play with the ‘shackles off’ at Arsenal, according to Francis Cagigao (Getty)

Former Arsenal scout Francis Cagigao believes Thomas Partey will be given a more expansive midfield role under Mikel Arteta.

Partey joined Arsenal on deadline day in a £45 million deal from Atletico Madrid and could make his debut for the Gunners against Manchester City this Saturday.

The Ghana international was the anchor in Diego Simeone’s midfield during his five seasons at Atletico and it’s expected that he would be handed a similar role at Arsenal.

But Cagigao, who spent 24 years in Arsenal’s recruitment department before he was sacked due to cost-cutting measures in August, believes Partey will be given a more box-to-box role under Arteta.

‘The department will have played a strong part in what happens in the next year or so,’ Cagigao told The Guardian.

‘They have more options up front than probably than any Premier League side, whether that’s from central positions or wide.

Thomas Partey joined Arsenal in a £45m deal from Atletico Madrid
Thomas Partey joined Arsenal in a £45m deal from Atletico Madrid (DeFodi Images via Getty)

‘You’ve got a very good midfield combination; two fantastic, expansive full-backs; a centre-back who has come in. It’s well-balanced, very strong. I don’t see many better squads than Arsenal’s.

‘At Almeria Thomas was different to the player we’ve seen at Atletico: more advanced, more box-to-box, attacking.

‘I think we’ll see a Thomas Partey with the shackles off.

‘He played in a constricted midfield unit [at Atletico] where it was all about positional play; now he might add things to his game that we haven’t seen much, bar with Ghana.

‘He’s a player we pursued for a long time and strongly recommended, a great addition, a prototype we didn’t have.

‘I think he could be the final piece to the jigsaw which makes Arsenal challenge for the title.’

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