It was only just over three months ago when Thomas Partey was rating his overall performances at Arsenal a four out of ten.
Now enjoying the best form he’s been in since arriving at the club two years ago, fans are finally seeing the true side of the Ghanaian.
“There are moments I can really hurt the other team but there are also moments where I allow myself to lose focus and that’s when everything goes down,” Partey told Sky Sports.
“This is when you realize that you have to get better. With more games, with more confidence, I will be able to get to where I want to be.”
Well, he certainly wasn’t lying as the 28-year-old would go on to stay injury-free and become a consistently reliable player in Arsenal’s midfield. A number of impressive displays even meant he pipped Martin Odegaard to the club’s Player of the Month award for February.
Partey’s confidence continued to be evident during Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Leicester yesterday and the numbers speak for themselves. He won 100% of his duels, made the most tackles (4), completed 42 of his attempted 47 passes and even got on the scoresheet.
With the former Atletico Madrid man flourishing in the number six role, it gives us an indication of what is needed from the new central midfielder that Mikel Arteta hopes to add in the summer, football.london understands.
Although the striker position is set to be a priority for the Arsenal boss and technical director Edu, the midfield is also a key area that must be bolstered even further.
“More important,” Arteta replied when asked about how this summer will compare to the last. “I think now is the moment we have to go to a different level,” he added.
Despite Granit Xhaka doing well, for the most part, this season, the club must look to bring in an upgrade to take over from the Swiss international if it is serious about becoming stronger and competing with the best around.
A deep-lying playmaker such as Fabian Ruiz is a notable option and may even be available for as little as £ 16m, with the Mirror reporting that Arsenal are running provisional checks on the Spanish midfielder.
Signing the Napoli star would represent shrewd business by the Gunners, with his six goals and four assists this season highlighting a clear step in the right direction when considering Xhaka only has one assist to his name so far.
Whilst Partey gets stuck in and does the dirty work, Ruiz would have the freedom to operate slightly further forward and just behind the magician that is Martin Odegaard, showcasing his quality on the ball and exquisite passing range in the process.
If Edu aims high in the summer and looks to bring in Champions League pedigree for both the attack and midfield, we’ll be edging ever closer to Arteta’s dream squad.
Follow our Arsenal Fan Brands Writer Chris Davison on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below. Make sure you have subscribed to The Arsenal Way and the Fan Brands team along with plenty of your football.london favorites will be producing daily Arsenal content for you to enjoy including match reactions, podcasts, football fun and interviews.