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How does Thomas Partey compare to Arsenal's current midfield options?

Sports Mole takes a statistical look at the comparison between Atletico Madrid's Thomas Partey and Arsenal's other central midfielders.

Arsenal continue to be credited with an interest in Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey ahead of the opening of this summer's transfer window.

The 26-year-old is believed to have a €50m (£44.6m) release clause in his current deal at the Wanda Metropolitano and is thought to be refusing to pen fresh terms with Diego Simeone's side.

The speculation linking the Ghana international with a potential move to the Emirates Stadium is gathering pace, and there is no question that the signing would capture the imagination of the London club's fans.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how Thomas and Arsenal's current midfield options stack up against each other across the board during the 2019-20 season.


Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey pictured in October 2019© Reuters

If Arsenal sign Thomas then it would be fair to say that they would not be bringing him to the club in order to score goals. The midfielder has only managed three in 35 appearances in all competitions this season, with two of those coming in La Liga and one in the Champions League.

Interestingly, though, he has still scored more than almost all of Arsenal's other current options in the middle of the park. Indeed, Lucas Torreira has struck just twice in 33 appearances in all competitions, while neither Granit Xhaka nor Matteo Guendouzi have managed a single goal.

Joe Willock has scored four times in 32 appearances during the 2019-20 campaign, although the 20-year-old has often been deployed further forward, and he has not scored in 19 Premier League outings.

Thomas has managed 15 goals in 174 games for Atletico in all competitions, which is hardly disastrous considering that he largely operates as a holding player in the middle of the park.

The Ghana international, according to the statistics this season, would be a bigger goal threat than Xhaka, Torreira or Guendouzi, though, which is perhaps somewhat of a surprise.


Thomas Partey in La Liga action for Atletico Madrid in February 2020© Reuters

Thomas has only managed one assist in all competitions this season, which came against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League last November.

Guendouzi is actually at the top of this particular section, having managed three assists during the 2019-20 campaign, including two in the Premier League.

Xhaka and Torreira have only managed one assist each in all competitions during the current season, while Willock is on zero in this category despite coming up with four goals of his own.

Thomas's overall record of 12 assists in 174 Atletico appearances suggests that he will not be setting up too many goals for his potential new teammates at the Emirates Stadium, although the statistics reveal that Arsenal do not have much creation coming from their current midfield options.


Barcelona's Lionel Messi in action with Atletico Madrid's Thomas Partey in La Liga on December 1, 2019© Reuters

Thomas has a pass success rate of just under 85% in the Champions League this season, while his pass percentage in La Liga is 83, which is perhaps slightly on the low side.

Indeed, Xhaka's pass completion in the Premier League this season is just over 88%, with the Switzerland international also managing 439 passes forward in England's top flight.

Willock's pass success rate in the Premier League (83.5%) is also higher than the Atletico midfielder in La Liga, while Guendouzi is also high with 88.2% in the Premier League.

Torreira's pass completion percentage is just under 88%, showing that Thomas is actually behind the competition in this particular category, while the Ghana international's average shots per game in La Liga this season is 0.8.

In the Premier League, Xhaka's shooting accuracy is down at 28.6%, while Willock's is at 50%. Guendouzi's shooting accuracy during the 2019-20 campaign is 83.3%, which is significantly higher than Torreira's at 35.3%, although the former has only managed 11 shots in the league this term.

Thomas's key passes in the Champions League this season averages at 1.6 per match, while that drops to 0.7 for La Liga. All of Arsenal's current midfielders have their strengths, but it would perhaps be fair to say that the Ghanaian would provide more athleticism and defensive nous in that area of the field.


Barcelona's Lionel Messi in action with Atletico Madrid's Thomas Partey in La Liga on April 6, 2019© Reuters

Thomas's defensive statistics this season, as expected, are strong. Indeed, he has managed 3.6 tackles per game in the Champions League, in addition to 1.5 interceptions, while he has only committed 1.6 fouls per game in La Liga this term, which is excellent for a player operating in his position.

Xhaka is the leader in this category when it comes to Arsenal's current options, though, with the Swiss managing 11 blocks, 42 clearances, 15 interceptions and 20 successful tackles in the Premier League this season.

To put Xhaka's numbers into context, Willock has managed just one block, two interceptions, 11 tackles and six clearances. Torreira has 30 interceptions, 15 tackles, seven blocks and 21 clearances, while Guendouzi has 27 interceptions, 15 tackles, six blocks and 32 clearances.

A lot of Thomas's best work comes inside his own half, and the fact that his fouls-per-game record is so low is incredibly impressive. What's more, the Atletico midfielder has been dribbled past less than once per game on average in La Liga this term, which is another indication of his quality.

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