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Roy Keane has questioned the leadership skills of Arsenal star Thomas Partey. The Manchester United legend doubts whether the midfielder can help more inexperienced players around him.
Partey has been an integral part of Arsenal’s success so far this season. Mikel Arteta’s side were five points clear at the top of the Premier League table at the break for the World Cup.
The Gunners have lost just one league game this season, a 3-1 defeat at Manchester United. Partey was injured for that game and his absence was felt.
Keane has been impressed with Partey’s performances for his club. However, ahead of Ghana’s World Cup opener against Portugal on Thursday, he raised doubts over his leadership.
Keane said on ITV: “Well he’s having a very good season. He’s settled down, he had a lot of injury problems when he first went to Arsenal.
“He’s got a big role here because there are some inexperienced players around him. I’m still not convinced he’s got those leadership skills.
“But a very good player and he’ll have a big part to play today because there’s a big responsibility, particularly in the middle of the park, of course a huge position on the pitch.
“He’s had a good season, he should be confident, but it’s a big challenge for him in the middle of the park to help the players around him.”
Arsenal have fielded 14 of the 24 youngest starting XIs in the Premier League so far this season. The role of the experienced players is key in helping younger members of the squad, so perhaps Keane’s comments will alert Arteta.
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Meanwhile, Graeme Souness has challenged Partey to take his club form onto the world stage. He said: “Yeah I think he’s got better.
“It took him a wee bit of time to adjust to our game. I think he’s got a bit of everything and I think you’re going to see him improve in his days at Arsenal.
“He’s got all the attributes to be a very, very good player in our football. This is another stage for him, get out there and show you can do it on this stage as well.”
Ghana’s second game at the World Cup is against South Korea on Monday. They then face Uruguay on December 2 to close out Group H.
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