Arsenal

Thomas Partey surprise in Arsenal training revealed as Stan Kroenke is vindicated over £45m deal

Thomas Partey has been one of Arsenal’s standout performers in recent weeks, beginning to warrant £45m transfer fee the Gunners paid to sign him two summers ago

Thomas Partey isn’t shy when it comes to taking shots from distance.

Although, most Arsenal fans can predict the outcome when the ball leaves his boot and so far it has not resulted in the midfielder celebrating after finding the back of the net.

In fact, since arriving from Atletico Madrid for £45million in the 2020 summer transfer window, the Ghana international has only managed to score once for the Gunners and that came in the 3-1 win over Aston Villa this season when he flicked home Emile Smith Rowe ‘s corner at the near post.

And it’s safe to say that it’s not for the lack of trying as to why Partey hasn’t added to that tally yet.

There’s an argument that if the midfielder was a bit more accurate with his shooting, he would already be into double figures for Arsenal goals considering he rarely turns down the opportunity to have a strike at goal.

This is evidenced from his last two outings alone.

As per FBREF, Partey attempted seven shots in total across the 2-1 wins over Brentford and Wolves, but only managed to hit the target once. With an xG of 0.2 and 0.1 respectively, there was little chance of the 28-year-old scoring his first goal from open play for Arsenal.

However, he has no problem when it comes to shooting practice in training and it might not be too long before one of his long-range efforts flies into the net instead of into the stands.

Well, that is what Mikel Arteta is hopeful for after revealing how Partey surprises him in training.

“He’s practicing,” Arteta revealed in his pre-Watford press conference. “Some of the goals he scores in training you’d be amazed, but you won’t believe me probably so you’ll have to see one of those soon getting into the net.”

Whilst Partey hasn’t been able to get amongst the goal for Arsenal, in recent weeks he has vindicated owner Stan Kroenke’s decision to help fund his £45m move from Atletico Madrid a couple of summers ago.

At the beginning of December, the midfielder wasn’t happy with his overall form since joining the Gunners.

“I give myself four [out of 10], because 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,” he told Sky Sports News. “This is when you realise that you have to get better.”

Since then Partey’s Arsenal career has been on an upward trajectory.

Either side of the Africa Cup of Nations, he has turned in eight straight strong outings in the Premier League against Southampton, West Ham United, Leeds United, Norwich City, Manchester City, Wolves twice and Brentford where he claimed an assist for Bukayo Saka.

And Arteta puts the improvement down to things finally clicking for Partey as well as the midfielder being injury-free.

“I think when you’re honest with yourself it’s a great starting point,” the Spaniard noted. “When you assess yourself in the way Thomas did publicly it’s a really rare thing to do.

“He did it because he thought that’s the case and that he wants to give much more to the team and the club.

“Probably that day something clicked.

“The fact that he’s been injury free is massive, but as well he’s probably more fit as well because he’s doing things better.”