Thomas Partey has been warned he needs to break out of ” Arsenal mode” and start “running games” next season by Jamie Redknapp.
Partey joined Arsenal from Atletico Madrid last summer after the Gunners forked out £45m to activate his release clause.
However, the 27-year-old has been hampered by fitness problems this season, with hip and hamstring injuries meaning he has made just 16 Premier League starts so far.
Speaking on Sky Sports ahead of Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Chelsea on Wednesday, Redknapp said Partey has “all the attributes” to be a top Premier League midfielder but he believes that “his performances have been too up and down”.
“It’s been tough for him, he’s had injuries, he’s been in his first season in the Premier League and we have to give people time for the adjustment,” Redknapp said.
“Some just come to the league and they just thrive. Others find it really difficult. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt.
“There have been games where I watched him and thought I would have hated to play against him.
“He’s got all the attributes. But there are other times when he gets into what I would call ‘Arsenal mode’, where everything’s easy. I don’t want to see him like that, I want to see him high energy in that midfield running games.
“Next season that is what he needs to do. He needs to come into next season absolutely flying because his performances have been too up and down for my liking.
“You have to give players the benefit of the doubt, but next year we will see the real Thomas Partey.”
Partey’s former Atletico team-mate Saul Niguez said last month that the Ghanaian international needs to “improve his consistency”, saying: “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.
“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 consistency, because he’s capable of doing everything.
“He scores from out of the box, he makes ground, steals, distributes, runs the game himself.
“If he ever reads this, 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 on those days in which he’s not performing as well.’