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David O’Leary says £45m player makes Arsenal a better team but he has a problem

David O’Leary says Arsenal play better with one £45m midfielder who has a big problem that has impacted his contributions to the Gunners.

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Arsenal celebrating
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Former Arsenal player David O’Leary contends that a £45m midfielder enhances the Gunners’ performance, but he faces a challenge that affects his role in Mikel Arteta’s squad.

Despite Arsenal’s impressive form and their contention for the league title alongside Manchester City, O’Leary believes that Thomas Partey’s inconsistent appearances present a significant challenge for the team.

While Arsenal’s midfield, boasting players like Martin Odegaard, Declan Rice, and Jorginho, has been instrumental in their success, O’Leary believes Partey’s intermittent availability as a key concern.

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During a TalkSPORT discussion, O’Leary named his top three Arsenal midfielders, including Thomas Partey, but pointed out that his sporadic playing time has limited his impact on the team.

“Partey, Rice, Odegaard fantastic, that’s for me is the best three. The problem with Partey is he is a top-class player, but he hasn’t played enough games. That has been the problem with him. Rice has played every game. Partey has missed too many games. But when he does play, Arsenal are a better team,” O’Leary remarked.

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Injuries have plagued Partey throughout the season, restricting his Premier League starts to just seven matches. Nonetheless, Arsenal’s recent successes align with Partey’s presence on the field, as the Ghanaian midfielder started in three of the last four crucial fixtures, all resulting in victories for the Gunners.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and Thomas Partey

Thomas Partey and Mikel Arteta (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Notably, Arsenal secured clean sheets in three of these matches, further illustrating Partey’s defensive prowess and influence on the team’s performance.

Nevertheless, if Arsenal manages to clinch the Premier League title, Thomas Partey’s contributions are expected to be crucial and could heavily influence decisions regarding his future, with the Ghanaian reportedly linked with a summer exit.

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