Mikel Arteta has heaped praise on Thomas Partey following his impressive performance in Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Rapid Vienna in the Europa League on Thursday night.
The Ghana international has been settling into life at The Emirates after having signed for the Gunners from Atletico Madrid on transfer deadline day earlier this month.
Partey came off the bench in Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to Manchester City last weekend and he was handed his first start by Arteta for the trip to Vienna on Thursday night.
The 27-year-old produced a calm and assured performance in the heart of Arsenal’s midfield, and Gunners boss Arteta admitted that he was thrilled by the summer signing’s display.
Speaking at his post-match news conference on Thursday night, Arteta said: “He looked really solid and really comfortable.
“I think he held the midfield by himself in the second half as well when we were a little bit more open and we started to take more chances attacking certain spaces with some players.
“But I think he was fantastic tonight and there is much more to come from him.”
Asked if Arsenal need to manage the expectations around Partey, Arteta replied: “Yes, of course.
“But he needs his team-mates around him, it’s not [just] about him.
“Obviously, we know with the price we paid for him and the profile of player that he is we know he’s going to have a lot of people looking at him every single game.
“But it’s about the structure we have as a team. The flow, the unity and cohesion we need in our team and he’s one piece of that, and hopefully he’s a big piece.”
Partey will now be hoping to make his full Premier League debut for the Gunners when they host Leicester City at The Emirates on Sunday evening.
The north London side are aiming to get back to winning ways in the top flight after their defeat by Manchester City at The Etihad last weekend.
Arsenal, who finished eighth and lifted the FA Cup last season, have not won the Premier League title since their famous unbeaten triumph in the 2003-04 campaign.