Thomas Partey explains losing Arsenal spot to Jorginho after previously being a talismanic presence for the Gunners
- Fierce competition for places
- Italy star getting the nod
- Ghana ace on the bench
WHAT HAPPENED? The Ghana international was the heartbeat of Mikel Arteta’s side over the first half of the 2022-23 campaign, with 26 Premier League starts taken in this season. Partey was a talismanic presence for the Gunners, with his hard-running and ball recovery skills put to good use. Italy international Jorginho has, however, been favoured in Arsenal’s last two outings, with Partey happy to concede that the former Chelsea star has been earning his spot in training.
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WHAT THEY SAID: The 29-year-old has said of slipping slightly down the pecking order at Emirates Stadium: “For me, it is something that always happened. I have always had competition, which is good for me. I enjoy it. I am really happy for him [Jorginho] because for a couple of weeks he was the best at training and then at the end you see that in the game. I am really happy for him and also happy that every player is ready to step in, so nobody is able to sleep. I think it is good and I hope everyone in that position will be ready to step in when they have the chance.
“The purpose of the club is to create competition and that helps the club to grow more, and also pushes us to be able to give our best in the game. I think it is good. Anytime you have good competition, with no problems, it is the best way to achieve what you want to achieve. This is easy because everyone is ready to give their best.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Arsenal are in danger of seeing the Premier League title slip through their grasp this season, having fallen behind Manchester City with just three games left to take in, but Partey is pleased with the progress being made in north London. He added: “We are proud of everyone in the club, every player, and what we achieve this season I think is unique after a couple of years struggling to be at this position. At the end we cannot stop here. We have three more games, we have to try and win and we see what happens. I think the plan is to try and win the rest of the games and finish the season as high as possible. The work off the pitch, away from the games, is incredible. We stick to our plan. We know if we continue doing our best and training hard, we will be able to achieve what we want.”
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WHAT NEXT? Arsenal are guaranteed to be playing Champions League football next season for the first time since 2016-17, with there the promise of more movement in the transfer market this summer as they seek to compete for major honours in 2023-24.