Thomas Partey must be released by Arteta.
Arsenal began February with no wins in the Premier League, but Mikel Arteta has since led the Gunners to three straight victories, putting them five points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table.
The recent excellent run demonstrates that early February was merely a blip and that a first league title since 2003/2004 is very much within their grasp as the season winds down.
With only 13 games remaining, the title fight is set to come down to the wire, and Arteta must start with his strongest lineup every time. With Thomas Partey returning from injury against Everton in midweek, the 40-year-old must unleash him against AFC Bournemouth this afternoon.
To demonstrate how essential Partey is to Arsenal, in their 1-0 loss to Everton last month, the Ghanian was replaced in the 59th minute and the Toffees scored a minute later.
He also missed City’s game due to injury; the end result? A 3-1 loss. The North Londoners won against Aston Villa, despite conceding twice without Partey in the middle.
In Wednesday, the 29-year-old played 45 minutes against Everton and was outstanding. He came in at halftime for Jorginho and averaged a Sofascore rating of 7.5/10 for his performance, taking 66 touches and having a 93% pass success rate while making one important pass and creating a great chance.
Partey was also solid defensively during his 45-minute cameo, making two tackles and winning all three of his ground duels, proving Arteta should start him today.
These statistics suggest that the battler had a significant impact on the pitch with his quality on and off the ball, which is why the jewel should be reinstated to the starting Eleven now that he is fit.
After the win, journalist Yaw Ampofo Jr claimed that the enforcer “brings stability to Arsenal,” which was clearly evident throughout his performance, while after the 1-1 draw against Brentford last month, he was dubbed a “absolute monster” by journalist Abhimanyu Bose, and both of these comments clearly suggest that the midfielder makes a massive difference to the dynamic of the side when he is fit and firing.
The North Londoners appear to have put their bad run behind them and will be looking for their fourth win in a row against Bournemouth today. To accomplish this, Arteta must begin with Partey in the middle of the field, as the jewel is the key to everything Arsenal has done recently.