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8/10 Arsenal star who makes Odegaard so much better is now out of control

Arsenal Football Club are in for a busy few weeks as the end of the season approaches. They currently top the Premier League with 77 points, although Manchester City have two games in hand, and will go up if they win both.

Their exit from the Champions League last week at the hands of Bayern Munich was frustrating, but the silver lining is that it gives the Gunners a chance to fully focus on their ambitions to win the league.

Fortunately for Mikel Arteta, injuries have not affected his team as much as others have, although several key players have been plagued by injury problems that have kept them out for the entire season so far.

Jurrien Timber, who suffered an ACL injury in August, returned to action with the school recently, where he scored a spectacular goal. The Dutchman will be hoping to return to the first team this season.

However, Timber is not the only key player returning to action for the Gunners. There is one man who has recently recovered from injury who could greatly benefit Arsenal in their quest for Premier League glory this season.

Thomas Partey vs Chelsea game by the numbers

The man in question here is midfielder Thomas Partey. The 30-year-old has missed a total of 26 games for Arsenal this season, due to two separate injuries in the space of 143 days according to Transfermarkt.

Recently, Party has slowly started to revive the intensity of the game. He played a key game against Chelsea on Tuesday evening, his second start since his latest injury, with the other coming against Luton.


According to Sofascore, the Ghanaian completed 86% of his passes, playing two key passes and two long balls. However, it was off the ball where he really impressed, winning two ground duels, 100% of his aerial duels, making three interceptions and winning his only takedown attempt.

Partey's performance was so impressive that he got an 8/10 rating from Kayak Kaynak, Football.Arsenal's senior writer from London. He explained that Partey was “impressive in build-up and defence” and that he gave “freedom” to the likes of Declan Rice, allowing his centre-back partner to get forward and affect Arsenal's third act.

How Partey brings out the best in Odegaard

It's definitely a throwback to the Party. Considering Arsenal's continued title ambitions, they need as big a squad as possible, and having a full-back option like Partey available can only benefit Arteta.

In playing Partey in midfield, both Rice and Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard were given a lot of freedom. Partey gives both players license to be more involved in the final third and have fewer defensive responsibilities.


Rice's last game of the third is not much underestimated. In the Premier League this season, he averaged 7.01 final third passes per 90 minutes according to Fbref, which puts him in the top 7% of midfielders, according to Fbref.

Rice's six Premier League goals this season have been scored by just three midfielders; Douglas Luiz with nine, Odegaard with eight and Rodri with seven, according to WhoScored. He certainly has a big impact in front of goal and skillfully for the Gunners in the final third. With Partey behind him, Rice can always go forward and make his team more dangerous in the final third.

There is no doubt that Odegaard is Arsenal's greatest creative force in the final third, at least in central areas. Partey allows the Norwegian to forget his many defensive responsibilities and simply influence the game in the final third.

As far as developing, creative midfielders go, you'll struggle to find many better than Odegaard. According to Fbref, he averages 9.28 passes per 90 minutes and 3.19 passes into the penalty area per 90 minutes, putting him in the top 4% and 1% of Premier League midfielders respectively.

Furthermore, Odegaard's creative numbers are elite. The 25-year-old averages an impressive 2.73 points per 90 minutes, ranking him in the top 3% of Premier League midfielders, while his eight assists this season are bettered only by Bukayo Saka. Playing Partey frees up Odegaard completely, and makes Arsenal a more dangerous team in the final third. As a result, he should be unbeaten in the remaining matches.


It is not the first time this season that Arteta has tried a deep midfielder behind Rice and Odegaard, thus giving them permission to go forward and attack. The Spaniard has played Jorginho as a number six at times, however, there is a clear difference between the two players and the roles they played in this instance.

How Party compares to Jorginho

Partey played mostly in the defensive midfield destroyer line against Chelsea. Although he is not bad on the ball, the 30-year-old is a very successful player without possession. However, Jorginho's role was more in line with the regista, a role he excelled at under Maurizio Sarri during his career. Indeed, although the Italian international has not won the ball well, his ball handling skills stand out.

According to Fbref, Partey averaged 3.55 tackles and blocks per 90 minutes in the Premier League last season, putting him in the 69th percentile. In comparison, Jorginho has only 1.08 assists this season, which puts him in the 61st percentile. There is no big difference, but Party wins.


According to Fbref, Jorginho's 9.88 passes per 90 minutes puts him in the top 1% of Premier League midfielders this season. In comparison, Partey measures up slightly, with 8.37 passes per 90 minutes last season, putting him in the top 4% of Premier League midfielders.

The differences are not clear, but each player is definitely better suited for the aforementioned roles. Partey's ability to win the ball makes Arsenal a difficult team to break down, and he is able to stop counter-attacks due to his ability to finish the game. However, with Jorginho in the side, Arsenal may find it easier to break down the opposition's defense at the bottom.

It is very important for Arteta to have Partey back to full fitness at this stage of the season. He now has more options in his midfield, and he could once again choose to play Rice in that role. As the Premier League season reaches its climax, Arteta will no doubt be hoping that a dynamic squad will help his side do their best to stay in the title hunt.


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