Mikel Arteta in agreement with Ian Wright over ‘different’ Thomas Partey amid struggles

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Thomas Partey arrived at Arsenal with high hopes – but his time in the Premier League has been hindered by injury.

The midfielder has made just five appearances in the top-flight so far, his last coming in the 2-0 defeat by north London rivals Tottenham back in December.

Since then, the £45millon summer signing has been working back to full fitness and is on the brink of being considered for first-team action again.

Partey could even play against Crystal Palace on Thursday night, a return which would be a huge boost to manager Mikel Arteta.

And the Gunners boss remains hopeful that the former Atletico Madrid star will add a new dimension to his midfield.

Thomas Partey pictured in training for Arsenal
(Image: Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

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Speaking on Wednesday, he said: "I think he's got a different presence – he brings something different to the team.

"It's not just about his talent, it's not just about his physicality, it's who he is as a person. He makes players better around him and that's a big, big quality.

"It's incredible that we are in January, we signed him in October and we have only played him [a handful of times].

"We haven't really seen the impact he could have on the team. Obviously we have missed him. I think it's going to be a big bonus if we can keep him fit."

Mikel Arteta has hailed Partey despite his struggles with injury
(Image: Pool via REUTERS)

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Arteta's belief that Partey brings something different to the table has previously been suggested by Gunners legend Ian Wright.

Wright, speaking back in October, said that the Ghanaian's ability to "progress the ball" from midfield will make a huge difference to the Gunners.

"I think when you look at the Thomas Partey signing, it’s the kind of signing where that’s who we wanted," the Gunners legend told Optus Sport’s 'The Kelly & Wrighty Show'.

"We’re not talking about a midfielder where people may feel is just a stopper and a destroyer and then pass the ball to the next man. This guy can progress the ball.

Wright heaped praise on Partey's ability to drive his team forward from midfield
(Image: IAN WRIGHT)

"And the problem that Arsenal have had is that, as well as Dani Ceballos can play on the ball and as well as [Granit] Xhaka produces nice passes, they don’t progress it. And that’s what Thomas Partey will do.

"He’ll get the ball into nice areas, he can run with the ball and pass the ball and hopefully he can activate the right-hand side just as much as Arsenal’s left-hand side."

Wright added: "The thing with him having to play at Atletico Madrid is that, yes, he’s had to play a different kind of way but I think he was actually suppressed at Atletico Madrid because of the kind of midfielder he is.

"And I think people may feel he’s a different kind of player and that’s why they might think he’s just one of those destroyers. He’s totally the opposite and that’s what I’m excited to see from him."

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