Photo shows how Douglas Luiz struggled to keep up with Thomas Partey

Thomas Partey‘s move to Arsenal last season was surrounded by plenty of fanfare. 

However, his first season at the Emirates was far from ideal, and his unquestionable quality failed to shine.

Back in December, the Ghana international shared a similar thought and rated his Arsenal stint as a “4 out of 10”.

Flash forward to March 2022, and Partey is evidently coming into his element as Arsenal’s midfield general. 

He has been crucial to Mikel Arteta’s side, especially during the rich vein of form they’re currently enjoying, and the fact was apparent during the Gunners’ 1-0 victory over Aston Villa. 

The 28-year-old, who recently converted to Islam, was imperious on the day, so much so that the Villa player tasked with keeping track of him was visibly frustrated and exhausted. 

While Arsenal usually lines up in 4-2-3-1 with Granit Xhaka and Partey in the heart of midfield, the Swiss international is often allowed to play in an advanced role, leaving Partey as the lone no. 6.

Nevertheless, it’s a role that the midfielder has adapted to seamlessly, and during the game against Villa, Partey delivered an authoritative performance in midfield. 

The Ghanaian often carried balls from within his own half during Arsenal’s build-up, and routinely recovered the ball, helping his side sustain the pressure put on them during the second half.

Going by the stats, the midfielder had 60 touches throughout the game, alongside a passing accuracy of 88%. His movement off the ball was excellent too, and his Villa counterpart Douglas Luiz simply couldn’t keep up. 

As seen in this image captured during the game, the Brazilian cuts a frustrated figure, and reasonably so as chasing Partey’s shadow all afternoon could not have been fun.