Thomas Partey has been backed to go on to become one of the best players in the world at Arsenal by his former Atletico Madrid team-mate Saul Niguez.
Partey moved to the Gunners on the final day of last summer’s transfer window, but has endured a frustrating first season in north London due to a series of injuries.
The Ghana international has admitted that he has only shown glimpses of his best form since switching Spain for England and Saul – who progressed through the youth ranks alongside the midfielder at Atletico – is convinced his former team-mate will soon show his true worth to Mikel Arteta’s side.
LaLiga Santander player Saul, speaking at an event for LiveScore, said: “I think he’s been very unlucky because of injuries, especially now that in the UK they are more confined like we were in Spain some months ago.
“It’s difficult because he started pre-season with us and then he left without finishing it. He tried to play every game, he got injured, then he tried to come back before the correct time.
“Everything has been a bit unfortunate, but I think next season will be a great season for him.
“I think having a coach like Arteta at Arsenal eased things a lot for him. He knows the language and it is a culture that suits him.
“As a player he’s incredible and if he manages to keep this consistency, he can be one of the best in the world honestly.”
Having grown up playing alongside Partey, Saul is in no doubt what the 27-year-old needs to do to take his game to the next level.
The Spain international said: “I have known him since we were 16 or 17 years old and I’ve always felt that he was going to be a very important player, but what he has lacked is the consistency, because he’s capable of doing everything.
“He scores from out of the box, he makes ground, steals, distributes, runs the game himself.
“But if he ever reads this (laughs) I would like to mention again that he should improve his consistency. It’s not enough just doing one good game and then not appearing in three or four.
“He has to be more intelligent in that aspect and know what he has to do those days in which he’s not performing as well.”