Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez believes that former team-mate Thomas Partey can become one of the world’s best players at Arsenal.
Partey made headlines on deadline day in October when he swapped the Spanish capital for the English capital. The Ghana international had earned a reputation as a top midfielder with Los Rojoblancos, hence the excitement over his arrival. Aside from an impressive start, though, injury has largely hampered his progress.
Indeed, Partey suffered a muscle injury in November, missing the international break and two games.
But after Gunners boss Mikel Arteta passed him fit to play against Tottenham, he pulled up after 45 minutes and missed the next six matches.
Nevertheless, Spain international Saul believes that his former team-mate can prove his doubters wrong at Arsenal.
Speaking in an event for LiveScore (via Goal), he said: “I think he’s been very unlucky because of injuries, especially now that in the UK they are more confined like we were in Spain some months ago.
“It’s difficult because he started pre-season with us and then he left without finishing it. He tried to play every game, he got injured, then he tried to come back before the correct time.
“Everything has been a bit unfortunate, but I think next season will be a great season for him.”
Saul added that Arteta’s influence as a coach can only help Partey reap the benefits of his move to London.
What’s more, he made a bold prediction about the player going on to dominate in midfield.
Saul warns of Partey, Arsenal level
“I think having a coach like Arteta at Arsenal eased things a lot for him. He knows the language and it is a culture that suits him,” Saul said.
“As a player he’s incredible and if he manages to keep this consistency, he can be one of the best in the world honestly.”
Partey has since had another small injury since recovering from his withdrawal against Tottenham.
However, he has played in each of Arsenal’s last seven Premier League games, completing four 90-minute stints in that period.