All Aboard the Thomas ‘Partey bus’ - 3 Reasons to jump on the Bandwagon
By Daniel Finton (Deputy Editor)
Rumours linking Thomas Partey with a move to Arsenal have gained some traction as of recently. Reports suggest that friends close to the player have been told by the individual himself that he is keen on a switch to the Emirates. Whether or not said murmurs are actually plausible is impossible to determine, although it is promising for those already aboard the ‘Partey bus’ that the links seemed to be heating up and gaining velocity.
I, myself, was not at all behind us signing him until I was convinced that my worries around the player were in fact not worth having. Despite myself and many others maybe having some reservations as to whether Partey could play in a possession based system as dynamic as the one Mikel Arteta wants, when one actually takes the time to assess the Ghanaian's game, it is obvious that he would be able to adapt. His style among other reasons should help to coerce you onto the ‘Partey bus’ if you are not on it already.
The Stats Do Not Lie
As one can see from Partey’s radar above, courtesy of Statsbomb, the Atléti midfielder does not only specialise in the defensive side of the game, but also contributes significantly to the build-up and construction of offensive moves. His impressive deep progression numbers (8.3 per 90), along with an impressive rate of successful dribbles (1.7 per 90) demonstrate the Ghanaian’s on the ball abilities, an area I previously had reservations over.
When you think of your archetypal Atléti player, technical ability is not at the forefront of your thoughts and a big mean, brute, reminiscent of a Spanish version of a Burnley player is drawn up in your mind. Notwithstanding, Partey is actually very good at progressing the ball up the pitch, whether that is with his expansive range of passing or driving up field with the ball. This driving force, that has seen him awarded with the title of ‘Atletico’s midfield general’, complied with his defensive abilities, are surely why Arteta is so keen on the midfielder. I'm not a very stat savvy guy and usually they just confuse the life out of me, but in this case they speak for themselves.
The Transfer is there to be Pushed by the Supporters
Aside from the stats, the rumours that Partey may actually want to join the club, according to his unnamed peers, are quickly gathering pace. If this is actually somehow the case, the pressure must be put on the board by the fans. Given the fact that Arteta reportedly wants him, Partey is supposedly keen, and Atletico are in financial disarray given the recent building of the ever-immaculate Wanda Metropolitano, which cost them an estimated £300 million, the signs really indicate that the transfer is there to be pressured into fruition by the Arsenal fans. Oftentimes supporters forget the power they have over their respective football clubs, and arguably none are more unaware of their influence on a team than the loyal gooners.
On example of supporter power was when after years of mediocrity under Arsene Wenger nothing was done by the hierarchy until the fans grew cantankerous with the long-serving Arsenal manager. Within a season or two of the very public unrest, the Frenchman was relieved of his duties with the club. If Arsenal fans can pressure the board into letting go of a manager who was at the helm for over twenty-years, then surely they can influence the current regime to sign a player who would undoubtedly improve the team.
Everyone else is on the bus already: If you’re not, hop on, let us all bask in our undeniable delusion
While reports have stated that the player is eager to join, I still have my reservations over if it will actually happen or not. Nonetheless, I will still gladly be the conductor of this metaphorical bandwagon. With these negative times we should revel in the delusional positivity that some of us are so ignorantly holding. We probably will not get him, but let’s enjoy the links while they are here.
Sadly, at the end of the day, while London is an amazing city and Arsenal would probably pay him higher wages, Diego Simeone’s Atletico are an absolute mainstay in the Champions league. Champions league football is a massive lure to a player, especially one that holds the quality Partey does. So that is one reason that it may not happen.
Furthermore, I would feel foolish if I forgot to mention other clubs being in the race for the midfield general's signature as well. Sides such as Juventus, Bayern Munich and PSG are all said to be interested and if that is the case, why wouldn’t he choose one of those three or just stay with Atletico? If he were to choose one of those big three for example, and left Madrid, there would be a virtually guaranteed league trophy every season, along with Champions league football and high wages as well. That would not be the case at Arsenal at all. At this present time, we are a project club and if he is looking for a long-term project to be a part of, then we are a promising one, but if immediate trophies are what he is looking for, Arsenal is not the place for him at this time.
In closing, the Partey bus is open to any foolish enough to come aboard. Will the Atletico man don the red and white of North London, rather than that of Madrid in the near future? Probably not to be honest, but all we can do is hope.