Saul Niguez is in no doubt that Arsenal potentially have “one of the best in the world” in their ranks in the form of Thomas Partey.
The midfielder was the Gunners’ marquee summer signing following his £45m move from Atletico Madrid.
Partey put in some outstanding performances earlier this season, but injuries have continued to hamper his efforts since.
The Ghanaian’s lack of regular football has led to inconsistent displays as Arsenal endure an up and down season.
Mikel Arteta has regularly backed his player and Saul, who came through the ranks alongside Partey, has no doubt of his quality and has backed him to hit the heights expected next term.
He 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.”
Partey has made 18 starts in all competitions this season and is yet to score for Arsenal.
Saul concedes that performing regularly has always been his problem meaning this season’s issues won’t have helped.
He added: “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.”