The long-range prowess of Thomas Partey should make us all very excited

Pardon the unforgivable pun, but Partey times have commenced across the borough of Islington for Arsenal supporters.

Yes, after a courtship that was long and often seemed likely to be fruitless, the club finally announced the signing of Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid having met his release clause of £45million.

The Ghana international is capable of playing a string of roles across central midfield and manager Mikel Arteta will be hoping that Partey can add control, presence and dynamism to a central area that has too often been exposed on and off the ball.

But whenever people talk about what Arsenal need in midfield, they focus on the physical attributes and forget that Patrick Vieira, the man all others are compared to, was also a bloody brilliant footballer.

Fortunately, alongside the expected tough tackling and hard running, evidence suggests that Arsenal have signed a player of real technical quality.

Take this recently-surfaced clip for example. Standing in a suburban garden that is vaguely reminiscent of the outdoor Soccer AM set, Partey struck a ball from distance that deliciously arcs its way into the targeted basketball hoop. It is enough to make you channel Lieutenant George and shout bravo at an irritatingly loud volume.

Happily, Partey is known for demonstrating this long-range prowess in match situations too and has scored many howitzers from distance during his time in Spain.

One such strike against Athletic Bilbao showcases his ability perfectly.

After finding himself 25 yards from goal and opposition players foolishly failing to close him down, the stage was clearly set for a special.

And Partey didn’t disappoint. Unleashing a shot with no backlift whatsoever, the chances of Athletic keeper Jokin Ezkieta saving it were rendered nil from the minute it left his boot. Unstoppable.

With Arsenal looking like they are making a tentative re-emergence under Arteta, the signing of Partey will be taken as further evidence that the Gunners are becoming a serious proposition once again.

If the midfielder can smash in long-range efforts on a semi-regular basis, then even neutrals have a lot to look forward to.

More Arsenal

Comparing Thomas Partey’s 2019-20 stats to Arsenal’s current midfielders

Can you name every player to score for Arsenal on their PL debut?

Thomas Partey confirmed: How Arsenal’s 16 signings from La Liga have fared

Ranking Arsenal’s past 10 summer transfer windows from worst to best