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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta could soon be tempted to deploy Thomas Partey in an all-new position if his recent performances for Ghana have been anything to go by. The 28-year-old has operated in his usual deep-lying role alongside the likes of Albert Sambi Lokonga and Granit Xhaka so far this season, but has been enjoying a fruitful spell in front of goal over the international break.
Partey has scored in each of his last two appearances for Ghana since linking up with the Black Stars at the beginning of the month.
He chipped in with Ghana’s second goal in a 3-1 win over Zimbabwe on Saturday before finding the net once again to seal another victory against the same opponents on Tuesday.
The Arsenal man was deployed in a box-to-box role for both matches in a slight departure from the holding position he often assumes at the Emirates Stadium.
Partey has also been known to feature for Ghana as a No 10, tasked with playmaking and easing the transition between defence in attack.
It seems as though he could ultimately prove to be a shrewd option for Arteta in the attacking midfield position currently occupied by Martin Odegaard and occasionally Emile Smith Rowe.
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Arsenal have struggled to get on the scoresheet on plenty of occasions this season, with the Gunners managing just five goals since the beginning of the campaign.
They were forced to wait until mid-September to open their account against Norwich City and have been outscored by the likes of Watford and Crystal Palace thus far.
If Arteta decides to move Partey into a creative role, it could ease the burden on Odegaard and Smith Rowe while providing a fresh source of goals at the top of the pitch.
The former Atletico Madrid enforcer scores every three games for Ghana on average and could benefit from the chance to prove himself as another option behind the forwards over his next few Premier League outings.
Such a move would also see Lokonga assume a prominent role in the Arsenal side to fill the void in front of Arteta’s back four.
The 21-year-old, who joined the Gunners from Anderlecht over the summer, has been one of the club’s few shining lights this season.
He has impressed on a number of occasions with his ability to beat a high press from deep, while his cultured range of passing has also caught the eye.
Lokonga appears to be set for a long and successful career in the game either at Arsenal or elsewhere, and can only benefit from receiving more opportunities to shine as he continues his development.
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Regular first-team minutes will be extremely valuable for Lokonga to stand the best chance of reaching his full potential and Partey moving into an advanced role could play a big role in accelerating the former’s progress.
It remains to be seen whether Arteta will eventually decide to shift Partey further up the pitch in an attempt to replicate his goalscoring exploits at international level.
The midfielder has struggled to impress on a consistent basis for Arsenal but could potentially find a new lease of life as one of the team’s creative assets.
Meanwhile, adding more goals to his game would do wonders in elevating Partey’s value to the side while helping out Lokonga and bolstering his team’s attacking threat in the process.
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