Gary Neville, a former Manchester United player, has asked Mikel Arteta, the manager of Arsenal, to use Thomas Partey in his preferred midfield position after testing him out at right-back in the previous three games.
Partey, a key member of the Gunners’ team throughout the previous season, unexpectedly fell down the pecking order in the latter stages of the campaign, losing his spot to Jorginho, who had come over from Chelsea in January.
Rumors that the 30-year-old Ghanaian will quit because he was worried about getting less playing time were strengthened by Declan Rice, who joined from West Ham for a club-record fee.
However, Arterta has been playing Partey at right-back thus far while acknowledging the player’s significance to the squad, an action that has incensed many.
The latest among those sharing their displeasure is Neville who believes Partey makes the team stronger when paired with Declan Rice in midfield.
“I would say that for me, looking at Arsenal, there is this element of experimentation. Thomas Partey is playing half-and-half in a game. Sometimes you need to go back to basics.
“I’d expect next week [vs Man Utd] Mikel Arteta is going to end that experiment and go with a solid back four. Move Partey into midfield with Declan Rice and Martin Ødegaard” Neville said on Sky Sports.
Thomas Partey and Declan Rice, a midfield pairing, won accolades for defeating Manchester City in the Community Shield, but it’s unclear if Partey will resume playing in that position.