Arsenal legend Martin Keown has waxed lyrical about Thomas Partey’s display for Mikel Arteta’s Gunners yesterday.
The Arsenal summer signing made his full debut in the Europa League trip to Rapid Vienna and put in a superb display en route to a hard-fought 2-1 win.
Partey gave the Gunners that much-needed forward thinking from midfield as he showed progression with the ball and made some good passes to his forwards.
The £45million man also delivered in terms of defensive duties, expertly protecting his back line with power and authority.
“I think you know when you see a player immediately add that touch of class, who wants to play and makes things happen,” Keown told BT Sport, as transcribed by the Daily Mail.
“He’s so silky smooth, he’s oozed class and been everywhere.”
Keown checked out some of Partey’s highlights from the first 45 minutes, where he’d collect the ball from teammates deep in his own half, before driving forward with intent.
“This is where he looks like Vieira for me when he’s travelling with the ball and making things happen,” he added.
Arsenal fell behind in the Austrian capital due to Taxiarchis Fountas’ 51st-minute opener, courtesy of a Bernd Leno error.
However, David Luiz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored midway through the second half for all three points.
Even prior to deadline day, Arsenal had enjoyed a decent transfer window, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s new deal finally put that saga to an end.
However, a solid, high-calibre complete midfielder continued to elude the Gunners, and many fans were growing exasperated with the lack of movement on that front.
All’s well that ends well, however, with Partey now an Arsenal player, and while it is still early days, he certainly looks like the signing who could take the Gunners to the next level.