Mikel Arteta said Thomas Partey has “come a long way” since he signed for the club after the Ghana international produced a starring performance in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Leicester.
Partey and Alexandre Lacazette were on target as the Gunners reclaimed fourth spot in the Premier League from Manchester United, who beat Tottenham on Saturday.
Partey put Arsenal ahead with an 11th-minute header while he also hit the woodwork with a shot and played a key role in the incident which led to the second-half penalty from which Lacazette scored to seal all three points.
The 28-year-old may not have hit the headlines as much as some of his team-mates since joining from Atletico Madrid in 2020, but Arteta believes the midfielder – named Arsenal’s player of the month for the first time in February – is getting better all the time.
“He almost scored shooting, he had a great shot onto the crossbar, he was involved in both goals – the header he scored and the penalty as well – and the reaction when he had the shot,” Arteta said.
“You could see he was voted player of the month last month and he’s come a long way, he has the consistency and the minutes, he understands what we want much better.
“I think his cohesion and understanding with the rest of the players is getting better and better and now it is about consistency and to keep doing it.”
Arsenal have not finished in the top four since Arsene Wenger was in charge and last season did not qualify for Europe for the first time since the 1994-95 campaign, but they currently have a one-point advantage and three games in hand on fifth-placed Manchester United.
West Ham in sixth and seventh-placed Wolves have also played three games more than the Gunners, and are three and five points worse off respectively.
You can see the player ratings from the match in the gallery above. To move on to the next photo, click on the arrows or if using a mobile device, simply swipe.