Arsenal and Ghana star Thomas Partey has been a key performer for Mikel Arteta this season and will be vital to any success the Black Stars have at the World Cup.
Partey's new role at the Emirates Stadium has allowed teammate Granit Xhaka to become more influential with the Ghanaian now acting as a holding midfielder. The Ghana international is one of the Black Stars' best players and has enjoyed a strong first half against Portugal, keeping Cristiano Ronaldo and Joao Felix quiet.
Ghana feature in one of the toughest groups at the tournament, being drawn alongside Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea, and the squad met with Ghana's president ahead of kick-off against the Portuguese. Ahead of the tournament in Qatar, Partey faced Xhaka's Switzerland side as the two countries prepared for the World Cup with the Swiss getting off to the perfect start after beating Cameroon earlier today.
Whilst many feel Partey has been a key player for the Gunners this term, Graeme Souness and Roy Keane have disagreed in their verdict of the Ghana international. Speaking during ITV's coverage of Ghana against Portugal, Souness said: "I think he’s [Partey] got better.
"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 and this is another stage for him, you know get out there and show you can do it on this stage as well."
Keane agreed that Partey has enjoyed a good season and helped Arteta's side sit top of the Premier League table at Christmas, but the former Manchester United midfielder is still far from convinced and questioned his leadership qualities. Keane added: "He’s had a good season so far (with Arsenal).
"He had his injury problems first and he’s got a big role in this (Ghana) team. I’m still not convinced he’s got those leadership skills, but he’s a very good player, he’ll have a big part to play as he’s got a big responsibility in the middle of the park. He should be confident, and it will be challenge for him to help the players around him."