Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has highlighted the importance of summer signing Thomas Partey by describing how his new Arsenal teammate is different to the rest of the squad.
Partey joined Arsenal late in the transfer window when the Gunners activated his €50m release clause. The former Atletico Madrid midfielder came on as a substitute for his debut against Manchester City in their most recent Premier League fixture.
Then, Mikel Arteta gave Partey his first start for Arsenal in their Europa League win over Rapid Vienna. The Ghana international made a big impression in their 2-1 win.
Few understand this more than his teammates, and club captain Aubameyang has now revealed how big a difference Partey is making.
“Thomas has been great since joining the club,” Aubameyang told Arsenal’s official matchday programme. “He has integrated so well in the squad.
“He is kind, calm and smiley. On the pitch, we have seen already seen what he will bring us in matches.
“He is so strong physically but yet so good on the ball as well. We didn’t really have a profile like this in our squad before. In terms of ball progression, beating the press, going forward, he will be very important for us.
“My family is from Gabon but I also have some roots in Ghana where Thomas is from so we are family too!
“It is good for some of our younger players as well to have a player like him, of his calibre at training. They will learn a lot from him.”
Arteta praises ‘fantastic’ Partey
Gunners boss Arteta has also been impressed by what Partey has brought to the club so far.
Speaking after Thursday’s win in the Europa League, he said: “Partey looked really solid, really comfortable.
“He held midfield by himself in the second half when we were more open.
“He was fantastic tonight and there’s much more to come.
“We know with the price we paid for him he’s going to have a lot of people looking to him.”