Soccer

Thomas Partey credited with taking Arsenal back to "Patrick Vieira days"

Thomas Partey has been compared to Arsenal icons Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva by club legend Tony Adams.

The Gunners ended the summer transfer window in style by meeting Partey's £45million release clause to prise him from Atletico Madrid on Deadline Day.

The midfielder has impressed in his first four appearances for the club, earning a special mention for his dominant showing in the 1-0 win at Manchester United at the start of the month.

The lack of a combative and technically-gifted defensive midfielder has been a problem in the squad for a number of years, but Adams believes Arsenal have finally got a player in the mould of Vieira and Silva.

"We’ve got Partey now who’s so exciting, going back to the Gilberto, Vieira days," Adams told Sky Sports. "Someone with a bit of protection in there which is fantastic.

"You’ve got a fantastic screen there. You’ve got a presence, a leader. I thought his performance against United was phenomenal.

"For me the best player on the pitch. He covered, doubled up on the defending, left the lines very narrow, all the principles of a defensive midfield player.

How impressive has Thomas Partey been for Arsenal so far? Have your say here.

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"For the first time in a long time I went 'Wow'."

Vieira made 393 appearances for Arsenal, winning three Premier League titles and four FA Cups, while also captaining the famous 'Invincibles' team of the 2003/04 campaign.

Silva also played a vital role in the unbeaten season and made 244 appearances for the Gunners during six terms in north London.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are sweating over the fitness of Thomas Partey after he came off injured at half-time during the 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa on Sunday.

The 27-year-old will play no part in Ghana's fixtures over the international break and the Gunners are awaiting news on the severity of a suspected thigh injury.

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