After a poor start in the Premier League, Mikel Arteta’s men have finally registered a win. The Gunners’ fans welcomed Thomas Partey back, who came on as a substitute in the second half and was instrumental in the build-up to Arsenal’s only goal in the match.
The Ghanian international was injured during the pre-season but was able to make the bench in the game against the Cannaries. Although new signing Sambi Lokonga has impressed for the Gunners so far this season, the return of Partey will play an important part in the midfield.
Let’s take a look at Partey’s stats and analyse if his substitute appearance can give Arsenal fans something to look forward to.
Partey played most of his passes to Nicolas Pepe creating an xT value of 0.032 in the process. This suggests that Partey was trying to look for his forward players whenever the opportunity arose. His pass to Bukayo Saka created the scramble near the opposition box that ultimately resulted in Aubameyang scoring the sole goal of the match. He also created high xT in his passing partnership with Nicolas Pepe.
For the duration that Partey participated in the match, his pass map illustrates that he was trying to pass the ball forward in the danger areas near the opponent’s box and that he was trying to link up with his creative players. The highest xT was created from his passes to the left-wing.
Partey received most of his passes in the central zones and in half-spaces towards the opponent half. He also made sure to fulfil his duties as the defensive midfielder, dropping deep to nullify the threat from the opposition. It demonstrates his attacking intent as he flourished more in the opposition half.
The defensive midfielder’s duel map suggests that he tracked back plenty of times to support his team during the transitions, engaging in multiple ground and air duels in Arsenal’s half. His interceptions in the match were few but considering the time that he was playing, were noteworthy.
With a narrow 1-0 victory over Norwich City means that Arsenal now sit 16th in the Premier League table just one place separating them from the relegation zone. It is undeniable that the return of Ghanian international has given Mikel Arteta an advantage. The stats certainly signify that Partey could solve Arsenal’s midfield woes and help his team move upwards.