Declan Rice vs. Thomas Partey: A Calculated Gamble for Arsenal’s Midfield

Declan Rice vs. Thomas Partey: A Calculated Gamble for Arsenal’s Midfield

Arsenal’s substantial investment in acquiring Declan Rice has raised questions about his ability to replace Thomas Partey effectively. Just days ago, exclusive reports from Sky Sport Italia revealed that Thomas Partey had agreed to personal terms with Juventus and would join the Turin-based club this summer. Subsequently, Tuttosport reported that Arsenal had lowered Partey’s asking price, indicating his potential departure. Surprisingly, Arsenal fans, who had shown affection and gratitude towards Partey last season, appear somewhat indifferent to this development. Their focus seems to have shifted to Declan Rice, whom they believe to be a superior option. This sentiment, while possibly driven by a desire for success, could lead Arsenal to pay a significant price.

The staggering £105 million spent on securing Declan Rice’s transfer to the Emirates makes him the most expensive player in Arsenal’s history. Given this hefty price tag and his English nationality, it’s unlikely that Rice would be relegated to the bench. Meanwhile, Thomas Partey may find himself relegated from a regular starting position. Rice’s impressive stat of recovering the ball 334 times last season, surpassing even Rodri, showcases his potential contribution. His memorable interception against Partey in a West Ham vs. Arsenal match further illustrates his defensive prowess. Rice’s ball distribution and tackling abilities have been coveted by Premier League giants for years, building anticipation for a successful signing by Arsenal. However, the question arises: Is it worth letting Thomas Partey leave?

To answer this question, we must revisit Thomas Partey’s performance last season. He can be considered a case of exceeding Arsenal fans’ expectations. Diego Simeone’s assessment of Partey as an exceptional talent rings true: “He’s an extraordinary player. Partey could have been even more famous if he played for Manchester United, but because he wore the Atletico shirt, people only see him as quite good.” By triggering the £45 million release clause, Arsenal secured this talented player. However, injuries kept the former Atletico Madrid player sidelined during crucial phases of the season, affecting Arsenal’s performance.

Two noteworthy points emerge here: Partey, like Sergio Busquets or Jorginho, is “underrated” – his abilities are undervalued. The opposite of “underrated” is “overrated,” typically associated with English players due to media influence. We are discussing a Ghanaian (Partey) and an Englishman (Rice). While Rice might outshine Partey, the transfer value and media coverage favor Rice. Another consideration is if injuries are an issue for Partey, they could potentially be for Declan Rice too. If Rice gets injured, who would replace him after the one potentially replacing him is sold to Turin? Ultimately, squad depth remains a significant concern for Arsenal. On reflection, selling Partey and banking everything on Rice seems like a risky move for Arsenal.

Hoan Le