African Football HQ: Partey vs Ziyech?

By: Ed Dove

The Arsenal powerhouse and the Chelsea maestro are in the spotlight this week, as the pod assess the performances of Africa’s big transfers
With Thomas Partey and Hakim Ziyech both starring in the Premier League this weekend, African Football HQ is putting the continent’s big summer movers under the spotlight in Episode 20.

Certainly, Partey and Ziyech are among the success stories of the window, but which of them is having a bigger impact at their new employers?

Ziyech was influential in Chelsea’s 3-0 dissection against Burnley this weekend, bringing his Ajax form to bear in the Premier League with a performance bubbling over with creativity.

He scored one and assisted another on the day, following up on the goal he scored on his first start for the Blues against Krasnodar.

In scoring in both games, he becomes the first player since Diego Costa to score on his first two appearances for the West Londoners—six years ago—and Frank Lampard must be delighted that the Moroccan is now fit.

His innovation and imagination kept the Burnley defence on the back foot throughout, and with Ziyech in the side, Tammy Abraham and Timo Werner can be confident they’ll have ample goalscoring opportunities this term.

The question for Ziyech now is whether he can maintain the output he demonstrated in the Eredivisie over in England; he’s had a hand in 30 goals in his last 40 appearances in all competitions at club level, and Chelsea are certainly lucky to have him!

At Arsenal, Partey may also stake a claim to be the most successful African mover of the summer, having settled quickly at the Emirates Stadium after leaving Atletico Madrid on transfer deadline day.

The powerhouse eclipsed Paul Pogba as the Londoners defeated Manchester United on Sunday, and the comparison between the two midfielders couldn’t have been starker.

Partey delivered a complete display, showcasing both his offensive and defensive qualities, but credit must also go to his midfield partner Mohamed Elneny, who was flawless alongside the new boy.

On this week’s episode, the pod also examine the performances so far from other new signings such as Victor Osimhen, John Obi Mikel, Edouard Mendy, Ademola Lookman, Achraf Hakimi and Ola Aina. Which of them is proving to be the deal of the year so far?

Finally, the pod also assess the homecoming of Asamoah Gyan, who returns to Legon Cities and the Ghana Premier League 17 years after leaving Liberty Professionals to begin his European career with Udinese.

It’s clearly a romantic move, but which of the parties involved will truly benefit from Gyan’s return to West Africa?

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