Trying to compare Thomas Partey to Arsenal icons Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva would be unjust, according to Lauren, because the current star is regarded “different” from famous holding midfielders of the past.
Partey is the most recent big-money signing, having signed a £45 million ($62 million) agreement with Atletico Madrid in 2020, but Lauren is quick to point out that the 28-year-old – who has struggled for form and fitness in England is still a work in progress.
“We have to avoid comparisons because Patrick Vieira is Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva is Gilberto Silva, two world-class players,” Lauren told Goal.com
“We have to look forward and back Thomas Partey for who he is, he’s a different player in a different squad. We cannot compare Partey with Vieira or Gilberto Silva because it’s not the right way to look at things,”
“Partey is a quality player and he’s proved that at Atletico Madrid and since he’s arrived, he’s been brilliant,”
“We have to hope he avoids injuries because a player like Partey needs to play every single weekend and the team will benefit if he does,”
“He still has a lot of potential to get better, so the more he plays then the more likely he’ll reach those levels we expect of him.”
Lauren also stated that Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard success in the team depends on Partey’s performance.
“He’s very important for those players in a 4-2-3-1 formation, I didn’t think the 4-1-4-1 against Villarreal in the Europa League suited this team.
“Partey is better as a two and allowing his partner to be more advanced and it also helps the likes of Smith-Rowe and Odegaard.
“He balances the back four by giving protection and balances the forward players because they have freedom to go forward,”
“It’s important he plays in this role to get the best out of him, but we have to keep our fingers crossed that he doesn’t pick up any more injuries,” he ended.