Thomas Partey’s harm is costing Arsenal dearly within the battle for fourth | Arsenal

As was the case within the 2018-19 season, no workforce appears to wish to end fourth within the Premier League. Manchester United had been the massive winners on the weekend, a hat-trick from Cristiano Ronaldo serving to them to beat Norwich and choose up three very important factors as Tottenham, Arsenal and West Ham all stumbled.

Before their defeat to Liverpool final month, Arsenal had been within the driving seat to affix Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea within the Champions League subsequent season. They had been fourth within the desk, some extent away from Manchester United with three video games in hand, and 6 factors away from Spurs with a recreation in hand on Antonio Conte’s aspect. Even after their defeat to Liverpool – a recreation they had been anticipated to lose given the guests’ unbelievable run of type and spectacular report on the Emirates – they gave the impression to be in pole place.

Their collapse in latest weeks has been virtually, dare we are saying it, Spursy. Their 1-0 defeat to Southampton over the weekend was their third on the trot and their fourth in 5 video games, with a slender win at Aston Villa the one vivid spark in a dreary run of type. Arsenal have solely scored two objectives of their final 5 video games.

Arsenal should still get better in time to know that remaining Champions League spot – Spurs are at the moment fourth and they’re hardly resistant to sudden defeats both – however they may want to take action with out Thomas Partey. The Ghanaian picked up a calf harm in Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace earlier this month and appears prone to miss the run-in. Speaking earlier than Arsenal’s defeat to Southampton, Mikel Arteta mentioned it was “not looking very positive for his availability this season”. The former Atlético Madrid midfielder has been distinctive this season and is proving to be an enormous loss for Arteta.

Partey had a so-so debut marketing campaign within the Premier League, however he has improved so much this season. Without him in the course of the park, Arsenal have misplaced their driving pressure from deep in Arteta’s favoured 4-2-3-1 system and this has a harmful impact on the workforce as a complete. Arsenal’s win ratio drops from 65.2% to 25% when Partey doesn’t begin. The variety of objectives they rating decreases (from 1.83 to simply 0.38 per 90 minutes) and the variety of objectives they concede rises (from 1.09 to 1.50 per recreation).

Partey makes them tick. He has a greater dribble success fee (81.4%) than any of the 158 gamers who’ve tried 25 or extra dribbles within the Premier League this season. For Arsenal, that’s streaks forward of his closest competitor, his midfield accomplice Granit Xhaka (65%), and even that’s from simply 20 tried dribbles.

When Partey is just not within the aspect, Arsenal wrestle to create possibilities by means of the center of the park. He can be a dependable choice in midfield who can obtain the ball from his centre-backs beneath stress, shake off opponents and drive the workforce ahead. His ball retention qualities might not be nearly as good as different midfielders however his means to ghost previous opponents and begin assaults greater than makes up for that weak point.

He can be efficient off the ball. Partey shields the defence effectively and, with a return of 1.9 tackles per 90 minutes, he’s greater than able to robbing opponents of possession earlier than gliding upfield and rapidly turning defence into assault. With Takehiro Tomiyasu and Kieran Tierney additionally out injured, Arsenal look weak on the again.

Over the approaching days, they journey throughout London to face Chelsea earlier than internet hosting top-four rivals Manchester United in a crunch match on Saturday. With Partey match and out there, Arsenal would have fancied their probabilities of selecting up constructive leads to these fixtures. Now, they’re approaching each video games on a poor run, low on confidence and and not using a key participant. Partey time on the Emirates? Not in the meanwhile, it’s not.

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