Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will auto-play soon8CancelPlay now

How can Arteta strengthen this summer? Get all your latest Gunners news

Invalid EmailSomething went wrong, please try again later.Sign me up! When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Your information will be used in accordance with ourPrivacy Notice.Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy notice

It's fair to say that Thomas Partey has had an up-and-down spell at Arsenal since joining from Atletico Madrid last summer.

Huge things were expected of the 28-year-old Ghanaian midfielder when he made the £45m move to the Emirates in October, with pundits and fans alike hailing him as a signing in the Patrick Vieira mould that the Gunners have been so missing in recent years.

Yet despite showing flashes of brilliance Partey has not exactly set the world alight so far in north London, and has struggled with injury issues and patchy form.

Much more will be demanded of him in the 2021-22 campaign now that he is fully settled in England.

Thomas Partey has been wearing No.18 up until now

And in a sign of him taking on more responsibility, Partey looks set to change his shirt number from the 18 he inherited upon his arrival to his favoured 5.

Partey first started wearing 5 in his loan spell at Mallorca in 2013, and although he initially donned the No.22 for Atletico, he switched to 5 in 2017 as he became a more important part of the team, and continued to wear it for next four seasons he was at the La Liga club.

When he first joined the Gunners, however, Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos was in possession of the 5, so Partey had to settle for 18.

Read More
Related Articles

  • Arsenal mull over 'potential swap deal' as they look to offload Lucas Torreira

Read More
Related Articles

  • Andy Robertson sends message to Billy Gilmour as Frank Lampard prediction rings true

But Sokratis gradually slipped down manager Mikel Arteta's pecking order, and did not make a Premier League appearance last season.

And in January the ruthless decision was made to cancel the 33-year-old's contract, with the player going on to join Olympiacos.

That left the No.5 vacant, and according to CitiSports it now looks as though Partey will inherit it ahead of next season.

Partey himself recently opened up on his frustrating first year in the Premier League, and admitted that things have not gone completely to plan.

Speaking to TV3 in Ghana, earlier this week, he said: “Well I think everybody has seen it, there’s been ups and down.

“We’ve had good times and bad times, but this is my first season and I think I had to adapt to how they play, get used to my teammates.

"I think now I’m getting used to them and I know with hard work everything will be okay for the next season.

“Of course, it’s not easy. The Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world and if you want to be there you have to be able to do everything well.

Partey will be hoping for a much-improved 2021-22 season
(Image: Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

"So I like this challenge and I’m ready to do everything.”

Both Partey and Arsenal will have to hit the ground running when the new season kicks off again in just under two months, with the Gunners facing a tricky-looking start to the campaign.

They begin in the Premier League with a trip to newly-promoted Brentford on August 14, but then face Champions League winners Chelsea and title-winning Manchester City in their next two games.