Former Arsenal scout Francis Cagigao says Gunners boss Mikel Arteta must allow Thomas Partey to play with freedom after his restricted role at Atletico Madrid.
Ghana international Partey signed for Arsenal on deadline day last week after a late move from Arteta’s side.
Arsenal triggered the midfielder’s £45million release clause and only just sealed the deal before Monday’s cut-off.
Cagigao, meanwhile, who left Arsenal in September after over two decades of service, was key in the move. The scout – now a free agent – helped bring the player to the club’s attention back in 2014.
Speaking to football.london, the 51-year-old told Arteta how he can find more from Partey than he showed at Madrid.
“It’s in the public domain that he (Partey) is a player we’ve looked at for a very long time and a player we recommended very strongly in the past and recent past,” Cagigao said.
“He’ll bring qualities to the side that are possibly lacking in that position, he’ll certainly bring more cover and protection in areas where the team possibly needs it.”
“I would also say that he’s a player who has possibly a lot more to offer than what we’ve already seen of him.
“He had a little bit of a restricted role at his previous club and sometimes played with the handbrake on – to use one of Arsene’s [Wenger] expressions – and I think that he’s going to be a very, very good addition to what is already an immensely strong squad.”
Partey was one of four major signings Arsenal added in the recent transfer window. Runar Alex Runnarsson is the club’s new second-choice goalkeeper, with Gabriel Magalhaes bolstering the defence.
Further forward, Willian moved across London from Chelsea in a free transfer. Defenders Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares also signed long-term deals after their previous loan spells.
Arteta wary of Partey debut
Partey could make his Arsenal debut in Saturday’s Premier League clash with Manchester City.
However, it was only the 26-year-old’s first day at the club on Wednesday, after recently playing for Ghana.
As such, Arteta is unsure if – and for how long – Partey will feature for.