Can we really give a thumbs up to the Arsenal midfielder’s debut Premier League season?
Thomas Partey’s first season at Arsenal was definitely a mixed bag, but overall, can the Ghana powerhouse’s maiden campaign in England be considered a success?
This was one of the questions examined in the latest episode of The Hot Seat, where Oluwaseye Omidiora—Goal Africa features writer—was grilled on one of his latest articles.
Omidiora came to the conclusion that Partey’s season had been a cautious success, but is he being generous in reviewing the contribution of a player of whom so much was expected?
Certainly, there was overwhelming optimism when the Gunners parted with £45 million to recruit the Black Star from Atletico Madrid at the campaign’s end.
There were questions about why Arsenal waited until deadline day to activate the player’s fee-release clause and liberate him from his contract at Atleti, with Partey denied precious team to get to know his new teammates before the season started.
Subsequently, there have been issues with his form and fitness, while doubtless, Arsenal’s own muddled campaign under Mikel Arteta will have made it harder for him to settle and begin to express himself.
Would he have had things much easier if he had joined a team who were winning more consistently?
Omidiora also makes an eloquent case on The Hot Seat that the coronavirus pandemic also played a part in Partey’s troubles, with the midfielder unable to settle in London and socialise with his teammates in a way that would have been possible had he joined in another season.
There are merits to the various points of view, but ultimately, Arsenal fans will surely have been left hoping for more after seeing Partey struggle to truly impose himself consistently in the Premier League.
This conclusion was reflected in a recent poll conducted by Goal Africa, as we asked readers to rate the midfielder’s season.
Only 13.1 percent gave him a thumbs up for 2020-21, while 54.7 percent gave him a thumbs middle.
32.3 gave Partey a thumbs down for his first year in North London, which demonstrates that there is still much work to be done.
The 27-year-old ended the season with 24 appearances in the Prem, registering two assists across the campaign.