Arsenal are reportedly strongly interested in Atletico Madrid midfielder, Thomas Partey. Here are three alternative options the club could consider.
Thomas Partey could well be on his way to Arsenal. While there are plenty of reasons to doubt the rumours, no less than the current financial crisis the club is in due to COVID-19 and the tens of millions of lost revenue as a result, reports of the club’s interest persist. And on Monday night, the Telegraph claimed that Partey ‘would like to move to Arsenal and is hoping a deal can be struck’. Nevertheless, there is still reason to doubt the completion of the transfer.
So, with that in mind, here are three alternatives to Partey should the Gunners’ pursuit of the Atletico Madrid man fall through.
3. Denis Zakaria
In Thomas Partey, Arsenal are looking for a destructive midfielder who also possesses progressive qualities with the ball. What makes Partey such a complete player is that he is both defensively sound, not being dragged out of position, ranking high for tackles and interceptions, but also offering quality in possession, too.
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Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria offers a similar profile. He stands at 6-foot-3 tall. He is a good passer. This season, he played 4.12 progressive passes per 90 and 2.87 passes into the final third per 90. He also had a very healthy 0.56 passes into the penalty area per 90. He can carry the ball forwards, though is not as dynamic as Partey, and he recognises the need to move the ball to his teammates quickly. Monchengladbach are built on a vicious counter-attack which requires Zakari to win possession and then shuttles it forwards at speed.
Defensively, he is extremely active. His 3.29 successful tackles per 90 minutes rank fourth in the Bundesliga. His 1.81 interceptions per 90 rank eighth in the Bundesliga. He uses his frame superbly to recover possession. He is not as complete on the ball as Partey, but at 23, he still has time to grow and shows excellent defensive work with more than adequate distribution.