Mikel Arteta has praised new midfielder Thomas Partey after the Ghana international impressed during his full debut in Arsenal’s 2-1 victory against Rapid Vienna on Thursday evening.
The north Londoners kicked off their Europa League campaign with a victory in Vienna but they were forced to come from behind to secure three points.
A mistake from goalkeeper Bernd Leno led to Taxiarchis Fountas netting the opener for Rapid Vienna, but goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and David Luiz, who was brought on as a substitute in the second half, completed the Gunners’ comeback.
Partey, meantime, delivered an accomplished performance alongside Mohamed Elneny at the heart of the club’s midfield.
And Mikel hailed Arsenal’s new £45 million signing after the game. ‘He looked really solid and really comfortable,’ said the Spaniard.
‘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.
Meantime, Arsenal are allegedly keen to bring Netherlands international Donyell Malen back to the Emirates.
The attacker turned out for the club between 2015 and 2017 but never made a senior team appearance for the Premier League giants in spite of signing a professional deal in February 2016.
Malen has been in stunning form for PSV Eindhoven since making his first-team debut to years go, though, scoring 33 times and contributing 16 assists in 78 games in all competitions.
The 21-year-old scored 17 goals in 25 matches for PSV last season, while he has started the 2020-21 term in fine form, netting five times in seven outings.
According to Soccernews, the Gunners are keen to re-sign the attacker, potentially during next summer’s transfer market, but the club will face stern competition for his signature.