According to the reports this week, Thomas Partey could be about to swap Atletico Madrid for the Premier League. The midfielder came close to making the move to England in the summer, but a last-minute move to Wolverhampton Wanderers broke down in the final seconds of the window.
However, it is believed that this move could be resurrected in the winter transfer window, with West Ham United also reportedly a possible destination for the all-action midfielder. But, could the Ghanaian thrive in the Premier League should he make his move to the British shores?
With the two clubs interested in the midfielder, he will be faced with a big decision over which one to join. West Ham and Wolves are at contrasting ends of the league table, and both have different styles of play. Wolves are also in the Europa League and have safely ensured their passage through to the next round of that competition.
However, at the Midlands club, he could face a fight to secure his place in the first eleven due to the quality that they have in that position. He will have to compete against the likes of Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho to get into the starting line-up, while he could effectively walk into the West Ham side since they don’t have the same quality in the middle of the park.
The temptation to play in Europe could be too great to turn down for Partey, however, and he would also be joining a team that are on the up. He would also be playing for one of the best new manager in the Premier League- Nuno Espirito Santo.
What Would He Bring?
Any player to have played over 100 times for Atletico Madrid isn’t a bad one. And, he would immediately improve whichever side he agreed to join. However, his qualities would certainly be a big hit in one of the teams. He has a brilliant pass completion rate of 82.7% and wins an average of 1.2 aerial duals per match, besides having a physical strength that could rival a stallion in the Kentucky Derby race.
His ability to win the ball back and move in on quickly ensures that he would slot straight into the way that Wolves play, while that style wouldn’t necessarily suit the Hammers.
He can also travel with the ball effortlessly, which would appeal to Wolves as they don’t have that kind of player already within their ranks. Both Neves and Moutinho are great passers of the ball, but Partey would certainly bring a new dimension to their midfield.
The 26-year-old makes an average of 1.8 tackles per match in La Liga, and 3.2 tackles per match in the Champions League. He does, however, give away a lot of fouls, as he conceded 1.4 per match in La Liga.
With Wolves’ defensive mindset in Europe and against the better teams in the league, he would be expected to improve on his average of 0.1 blocks per match, but that certainly wouldn’t be an issue providing he is given plenty of game time.
This season in La Liga, he has scored one goal in his ten appearances and has made 0.7 key passes per game. He has been fouled 0.8 times per match and has attempted 1.6 dribbles per fixture in the Spanish top-flight. All these numbers would appeal to Wolves, but they would likely have to bid in the region of £40 million to get their man.
Any potential move to take Partey to Molineux would have a serious impact on their betting odds to win the Europa League. He would add something different to the position, and Nuno could ensure that the move is completed in the winter window.