Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey can star next season despite rocky start after £45m transfer, claims Jamie Redknapp
JAMIE REDKNAPP has backed Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey to thrive next season after an underwhelming first year in England.
The 27-year-old has flattered to deceive since joining the Gunners from Atletico Madrid in October for £45million.
Injuries have stifled Partey's career in North London so far, with the Ghanaian starting just 16 games in the Premier League.
Though he has still managed to chip in with three assists in 31 games in all competitions.
However his performances have been a concern for fans, with club legend Martin Keown stating he hasn't lived up to the billing since arriving at Arsenal.
But Sky Sports pundit Redknapp has come to the defence of the 2018 Europa League winner and predicted he will shine next campaign.
Speaking prior to Arsenal's 1-0 away win against Chelsea, he said: "It’s been tough for him, he’s had injuries, it's been his first season in the Premier League and we have to give people time.
"Some just come to the league and they just thrive. Others find it really difficult. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt.
"There have been games where I watched him and thought I would have hated to play against him. He’s got all the attributes.
"But there are other times when he gets into what I would call ‘Arsenal mode’.
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"I don’t want to see him like that, I want to see him high energy in that midfield running games. Next season that is what he needs to do.
"He needs to come into next season absolutely flying because his performances have been too up and down for my liking.
"But next year we will see the real Thomas Partey."
Meanwhile Gunners icon Ashley Cole has lauded left-back Kieran Tierney as he stated his former employers are a different team with him in the side.
He remarked: "He has been solid. I think he would have liked to see more game time, he’s had a few injuries that hampered his season.
"When he’s in the team, they are a different team, he’s willing to defend, he’s that kind of leader and warrior they need in this team.
“There were those questions marks over him and his ability to come from Scottish football and adapt to the Premier League. But I think he’s adapted very well.
“He’s got those leadership qualities which are needed along with the younger players in there.
“When he doesn’t play they miss him on he left. He can attack but ultimately he can defend which is a plus.”
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