Arsenal already have their own Casemiro at the club in Thomas Partey

Arsenal v Nottingham Forest: Pictures

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been told that he already has his own Casemiro in the Gunners’ squad in the form of Thomas Partey. The Ghanaian midfielder has been instrumental at the heart of the Arsenal side that currently sits top of the Premier League table, two points ahead of second-placed Manchester City.

Partey has formed a strong partnership with Granit Xhaka and Martin Odegaard as a midfield trio, as his presence behind them has allowed the other two midfielders to be able to go forward and affect the game in the final third. The 29-year-old also has two goals so far this campaign, including a stunning strike against Nottingham Forest in the 5-0 win on Sunday.

Partey was one of three players that former Tottenham striker Darren Bent identified as standouts in the win over Steve Cooper’s side, and named Partey alongside some esteemed company. “Thomas Partey; Wow,” Bent told talkSPORT. “People talk about Casemiro, Rodri; Partey is in that bracket, 100 per cent. He’s been that good.

“Fair play to Reiss Nelson; came on, made an impact and scored two great goals. Some standout performances. [Gabriel] Martinelli, going from strength to strength. We’ve just spoken about Reiss Nelson.

“I get the outside noise. People were talking about the last couple of performances. Leeds, we weren’t great. Southampton, the draw, weren’t great. Getting beat by PSV. [Critics were saying] they’ve fallen off a cliff, they’re done. And to put that type of performance in was brilliant.”

Arsenal looked less assured during Partey’s absence earlier in the season when he struggled with an injury, as back-up Mohamed Elneny was also sidelined and Albert Sambi Lokonga was drafted into the midfield for a run of games that included the Gunners’ only defeat of the season, a 3-1 loss away to Manchester United.

One issue surrounding Partey is his injury record, having also missed the latter stages of the campaign last season as persistent muscle issues continue to plague the Ghana international. Arteta did attempt to fix the problem in the summer, as Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz was the subject of several bids on transfer deadline day.

The Brazilian could have acted as cover for Partey when he misses out through injury, though the Villa man has since signed a new contract at Unai Emery’s side. Arteta will also be ramping up plans for the January window, as another midfielder could be eyed alongside links to Orlando City forward Facundo Torres.

The Gunners have reportedly scheduled talks with the Uruguayan after impressing scout Toni Lima, who first spotted Neymar and Philippe Coutinho, while they are also set to open talks with William Saliba regarding a new contract. The Frenchman has impressed since returning from his loans in France, and tying him to a long-term deal would be a huge boost for the north London side.

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