Wright pinpoints Partey role as he picks his Arsenal XI to face Man City

Ian Wright highlighted how Thomas Partey will improve Arsenal's midfield as he picked his starting XI to travel to Manchester City on Saturday.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta entered the summer transfer window intent on strengthening his options in the centre of the pitch.

The Spaniard re-signed Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid and identified Lyon's Houssem Aouar and then-Atletico Madrid star Partey as priority targets.

With Arsenal unwilling to meet the £54million price tag for France international Aouar, Arteta instead swooped for Partey on Deadline Day by meeting his £45million release clause.

And Wright believes the Ghanaian's ability to "progress the ball" from midfield will make a huge difference to the Gunners.

"I think when you look at the Thomas Partey signing, it’s the kind of signing where that’s who we wanted," the Gunners legend told Optus Sport’s 'The Kelly & Wrighty Show'.

"We’re not talking about a midfielder where people may feel is just a stopper and a destroyer and then pass the ball to the next man. This guy can progress the ball.

"And the problem that Arsenal have had is that, as well as Dani Ceballos can play on the ball and as well as [Granit] Xhaka produces nice passes, they don’t progress it. And that’s what Thomas Partey will do.

"He’ll get the ball into nice areas, he can run with the ball and pass the ball and hopefully he can activate the right-hand side just as much as Arsenal’s left-hand side."

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Wright added: "The thing with him having to play at Atletico Madrid is that, yes, he’s had to play a different kind of way but I think he was actually suppressed at Atletico Madrid because of the kind of midfielder he is.

"And I think people may feel he’s a different kind of player and that’s why they might think he’s just one of those destroyers. He’s totally the opposite and that’s what I’m excited to see from him."

Wright also tipped Partey to make his debut at the Etihad Stadium as he picked his ideal starting XI for the Saturday evening fixture.

Wright said: "I’d love to this team because I think that starting XI playing at the top of their game, maybe [Nicolas] Pepe could take Willian’s place if he continues his form, but you look at that left side it’s awesome, natural.

What changes, if any, would you make to Wright's Arsenal XI to face Manchester City? Have your say here.

"Those three guys there, Xhaka, [Bukayo] Saka and [Kieran] Tierney are all left-footed so there’s a natural balance there and [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang coming in off the left.

"You’ve got Willian, Partey will be coming through, Gabriel, with the experience of David Luiz there, Hector Bellerin is playing some of his best football.

"I’m really pleased to see him back to something like we know how good he is and I think [Cedric] Soares is maybe pushing him and that’s a good thing.

"That, for me, is Arsenal’s strongest team, maybe with Pepe in it."

Ian Wright's Arsenal XI to face Man City (3-4-3): Leno; Gabriel, Luiz, Tierney; Bellerin, Partey, Xhaka, Saka; Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang.

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