Arsenal’s full-back Oleksandr Zinchenko holds the belief that Thomas Partey is not only the most underrated player in the Premier League but also the best holding midfielder he has ever played alongside.
Zinchenko, the 26-year-old Ukrainian international, showered praise on Partey, who joined Arsenal from Atletico Madrid in 2020 for a reported £45.3 million.
Despite being linked with a possible move away from the Emirates to Turkish side Galatasaray during the summer, Partey has a fan in Zinchenko. Speaking to YouTube channel FIVE, Zinchenko expressed his admiration for the Ghanaian midfielder by labeling him as the most underrated player in the Premier League.
In response to a question about whether Partey was better than Manchester United’s midfielder Casemiro, Zinchenko was unequivocal in making his sentiments known.
Zinchenko responded: “I don’t want to say something bad. Casemiro is a world class player, five Champions Leagues. But if I had to choose, it would be Partey.”
He added: “I had the debate in my head, who is the best holding midfielder I have ever played with – it was between Fernandinho, Rodri and Partey. It is a tough one.
“I watched Fernandinho when he was at Shakhtar and he helped me so much. I love him like an older brother.”
Rio Ferdinand, who was standing on set, soon asked if Partey was better than Manchester City’s in-form midfielder Rodri – a question that left Zinchenko contemplating.
But even that pause left Ferdinand with his hands on his head. “I think he is great, but better than Rodri?” the former England international asked.
Zinchenko hit back: “Rio, please come and see him in training. He has everything.”
The Ukraine international did give credit to his former teammate Rodri, saying: “He fits so well in City’s system, take him out and it is a different City, for sure. He is the main detail and that is the hardest position to play.”
Zinchenko went on to name Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah as his toughest ever opponent.
“Salah is so sharp, fast, strong. He can go both sides and you can never expect what he is going to do,” the Arsenal man said. “When you give him space and he turns, it is so hard to stop him.”