Arsenal thought Thomas Partey was ‘next Patrick Vieira’ but midfielder isn’t living up to billing, slams Martin KeownMay 7, 2021
ARSENAL midfielder Thomas Partey has failed to live up to the billing of becoming the club's 'next Patrick Vieira', according to Gunners legend Martin Keown.
The 27-year-old signed for Mikel Arteta's side at the start of the campaign for a whopping £45million from Atletico Madrid.
But he has not shown the type of consistency Arsenal fans will have wanted to see from him.
And a particularly disappointing display in a goalless draw with Villarreal which saw the team crash out of the Europa League led Keown to single him out as a scapegoat.
Speaking on BT Sport, he said: "We thought we were signing the next Patrick Vieira [in Thomas Partey] but he hasn't looked like that at all.
"We made a mistake, we should have had two midfield players side by side. We didn't have the right balance in that midfield.
"Odegaard didn't seem to want to go and press and in midfield Villarreal were just able to pass by."
Arsenal needed just one goal to reach the Europa League final after being beaten 2-1 in the first leg in Spain.
But despite Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang striking the post on two occasions, Arteta's men failed to find a way through as their hopes of European glory came to an end.
Last night's exit also means Arsenal are in serious danger of failing to qualify for any form of European competition next season.
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The Gunners currently sit in ninth place in the Premier League with just four games remaining.
When asked if he felt he was still the best man to lead Arsenal, Arteta said:"I wouldn't be sitting here if I didn't. You will see it. It's not about talking. It's about showing it on the pitch.
“I think everybody's job always in scrutiny.”
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