Arsenal legend Gilberto Silva believes his former side have finally signed a replacement for him – 13 years after the Brazilian’s departure.
The former defensive midfielder spent six seasons in north London, helping Arsene Wenger lift the Invincibles Premier League title in 2004.
That was the last time the Gunners took the title, slowly slipping down the table over the last 17 years.
But Mikel Arteta has sparked new life in Arsenal, recording just one defeat in their last eight games.
And Gilberto believes that the acquisition of Thomas Partey, who arrived from Atletico Madrid on transfer deadline day last October.
Speaking to Stadium Astro, the Brazilian said: “He’s a good player.
“He’s the type of player Arsenal were missing, I’ve spoken a couple of times about it.
“They have good players in the [central midfield] position but not to sit and give Arsenal the stability they have.
“Look at the game [against Spurs] it was great to see how he managed his game, how he managed that position, helping.
“You know what is very important about this particular position? This is a very particular position because not every time you get the credit you deserve.”
Partey played the full 90 minutes in the 2-1 north London derby win over Tottenham, his 21st appearance of the campaign.
And Silva suggested that the midfielder’s arrival has been a long time coming.
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He added: “That’s okay, it’s fine, because you have to understand that. But this guy, when he understands the position like Partey, look at his game: he made the others a lot better.
“He makes [Granit] Xhaka look better in the game, he made the defenders look a lot better and comfortable when the ball was against them.
“I think the way he manages games, the way he positions himself, is very important for Arsenal.
“He is the kind of player Arsenal have needed for quite a long time in my opinion.”
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