Robbie Savage urges Arsenal to sign Thomas Partey plus defender this summer

first_img Comment Savage believes Partey would be a ‘good signing’ for the Gunners (Picture: BT Sport)Last month, Rio Ferdinand named Partey as one of three central midfielders Manchester United should be looking at this summer, along with Saul Niguez and Wilfred Ndidi.‘I’d maybe go get Partey from Atletico Madrid or Ndidi from Leicester,’ the ex-United defender told The Beautiful Game podcast.‘I like Saul Niguez. He’s a very, very good player in midfield.’ Advertisement FIFA and WHO team up to give you five ways to tackle spread of coronavirusTo view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Play VideoLoaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 1:43FullscreenFIFA and WHO team up to give you five ways to tackle spread of coronavirus is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Former Ghana international Nii Lamptey has warned Partey that a move to England could be ‘suicidal’ for his career and told his fellow countryman to stay on with Atletico Madrid.‘There are numerous offers coming for Thomas Partey but his career will take a nosedive if he doesn’t choose his next move well,’ Lamptey told Ocean 1 TV.‘The country and league he will pick will determine his future. I will advise him to stay in Spain rather than going to England or Italy. ‘He can move within Spain and join another top club rather than focusing on the financial gains to move out of the country because that can be suicidal.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘Sometimes, decision making can destroy your career. My move to England was a wrong one for me. ‘Aston Villa was a wrong move because their style of play was not going to suit me. If I had gone to France or Spain at that time, it would have helped my career more than going to England.’Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more stories like this, check our sport page.MORE: Lionel Messi undergoes coronavirus test at Barcelona training as La Liga stars prepare for season restartMORE: Mikel Arteta tips Kieran Tierney to become ‘special’ at Arsenal Thomas Partey is firmly on Arsenal’s radar ahead of the summer transfer window (Picture: Getty)Robbie Savage believes Arsenal need to strengthen defensively this summer and has urged the club to complete a move for Atletico Madrid star Thomas Partey.Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has reassured fans that he has multiple plans up his sleeve for the summer transfer window despite the coronavirus pandemic halting the season and creating financial uncertainty across world football. Atleti defensive midfielder Partey has been heavily linked with the Gunners in recent weeks and the Ghanaian’s father recently fuelled these rumours when he appeared to confirm talks were in place over a move to the Emirates. Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 6 May 2020 11:11 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link5.2kShares Advertisement Robbie Savage urges Arsenal to sign Thomas Partey plus defender this summer Mikel Arteta insists he has multiple transfer plans in place (Picture: Getty)Atletico Madrid, intent on fending off interest from the Premier League, are preparing to offer Partey a contract which would increase his release clause from €50 million (£47m) to €100m (£93m).AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTHowever, Partey has reportedly told close friends that he’s keen to complete a switch to Arsenal and the Ghana international is hopeful an agreement can be reached between all parties.Asked where the north London club need to improve, ex-Blackburn and Wales midfielder Savage told BT Sport: ‘I think Arsenal defensively… will they go for a strong midfield player?‘I know Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid has been talked about. I think he would be a good signing.‘And a defender, whoever that may be.’last_img read more

Washington’s Matisse Thybulle proves a zone defender can be the man

first_imgIf you thought we could resist the temptation to call Matisse Thybulle an artist on defense, we are sorry to disappoint. Hey, didn’t his parents dare us to abuse that allusion by assigning him that first name? Doesn’t Matisse himself mandate it by performing with such elegance, such élan?You may not believe theft and destruction can be beautiful, but we dare you to stay up late enough to watch Washington rampage through the Pacific-12 Conference, to see Thybulle steal the basketball from an opponent or wreck its offense with a series of authoritative shot-blocks. MORE: SN’s latest March Madness bracket projectionsA 6-5 senior from suburban Seattle, Thybulle’s excellence as a defender has been an essential component of the Huskies’ success in 2018-19. They are 22-5 overall and 13-1 in the Pac-12. They have clinched a share of the regular season title and can seize all the glory by winning Thursday night at Cal. They have a team defense ranked 13th in the nation.Washington coach Mike Hopkins compares Thybulle’s command of defense to that of Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. Hopkins points to an interview clip of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who once observed Reed demonstrate such a profound understanding of defense that he was able to con fellow Hall of Famer Peyton Manning into throwing an interception.“He’s got THAT,” Hopkins told Sporting News.“Guys that love to play defense, they take pride in it. And they have not only great anticipation, but he also has incredible athleticism. He has the anticipation and then the coverage of space.”Thybulle’s 96 steals and 3.6 per-game average lead all NCAA Division I players. He averages 2.3 blocks a game, which ranks second in the Pac-12 and 20th in the NCAA. Every player ranked ahead of him on the national list is 6-7 or taller, and the next 15 players ranked behind him are, as well. There’s no other 6-5 guy among the top 60 shot-blockers.Given those amazing statistics, it’s no surprise he was on the list of semifinalists for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award, along with Duke’s Zion Williamson, Gonzaga’s Brandon Clarke and Michigan’s Zavier Simpson, among others.Here’s the question, though, that Thybulle forces us to ponder: Can the best defensive player in college basketball be a guy who plays zone?“I think there’s no question about it,” Hopkins said. He is a little biased, though.“It maybe makes him stand out more because he’s playing zone,” ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla, a member of the Naismith board of selectors, told SN. “He’s as good a zone defender as I can remember seeing in the past 25 years. I think he’s a great defender regardless of what defense he’s playing.”MORE: Zion makes case for DPOY simply by being absentThybulle played two seasons with the Huskies under coach Lorenzo Romar. In the second of those, though he averaged 10.1 points and 2.1 steals, the Huskies won two league games. Romar was fired March 15, 2017; four days later word started to leak his replacement would be Hopkins.“I was really lost, because I didn’t know whether I wanted to stay or if I wanted to go,” Thybulle told SN. “My mind was all over the place. I met him, and for anyone who has met him, he was nothing short of crazy. This guy’s got so much energy, he’s so excited. He thinks that we’re going to be able to do all these amazing things. I was like, ‘Man, what if it’s too good to be true?’“I talked to my dad. And Coach Hop is such a genuine guy and he’s really big on family, and I was able to connect to him on that level. And so was my dad. So it was a leap of faith. This was his first time as, essentially, a head coach. We’ve seen how it turned out. We made the right choice.”It was Thybulle’s father, Gregory, who took the inspiration to name his child Matisse after a backpacking trip through Europe exposed him to some of the artist’s masterpieces. Thybulle said there were prints of several Henri Matisse paintings around his home.“I’m a big fan. I would say I have a couple favorites,” Thybulle said. “I would say in terms of artists, my two favorites are Matisse, obviously, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.”He acknowledges that when he began playing pickup ball last summer after a full year in what now should be termed “the U-Dub Zone”, it took a few runs to get used to the idea, “I don’t need to stand at the top of the key anymore. Like, I actually need to follow my guy.”Although Thybulle’s scoring is down to 9.9 points per game this season, he is widely recognized for his remarkable defense and is considered to be a promising NBA prospect.“I do what we need to win,” Thybulle said. “And me forcing up shots is not going to help us win. If anything, it’s going to hurt us. So I don’t try to force anything, and as you’ve seen, we don’t need me to. My personal numbers don’t mean anything to me, and that goes for offense and defense.”MORE: Five storylines that will shape remainder of seasonThybulle will admit to being a little skeptical about the conversion to playing zone almost exclusively. “Before Coach Hop, you looked at a zone, when a team was in a zone, like they just couldn’t play man. We thought of it as a more passive defense,” Thybulle said. “Going into it, I had an open mind. I didn’t know anything about the Syracuse zone. So I didn’t know where I was going to fit in, how I could fit in. But I know that defensively, I always give it my all, no matter what. So I was never worried I wasn’t going to be able to do it.”Hopkins is in his second year at UW, nearly three decades after he was a player and assistant coach under Jim Boeheim at Syracuse. He didn’t originally plan to import the Syracuse zone to the West Coast. But after trying to incorporate multiple schemes — pressing, matchup zone, some man-to-man, similar to what Rick Pitino employed at Louisville — Hopkins and his staff determined they were trying to teach too many different concepts. He went back to what he knows best in preparing for the start of his first season as head coach.He installed the Syracuse 2-3, a more active, disruptive zone than most coaches who play zone employ. The Huskies faced Saint Martin’s in an exhibition game, and the opposition went 6 of 10 from 3-point range to start the game. They dumped the zone that day and went man-to-man.“But we kept getting better at it, and then in a private scrimmage we went against Boise State,” Hopkins said. “One of my assistants said, ‘Hey Coach, you ever think about putting Matisse exclusively on top of the zone? That was a hell of a suggestion, right? Good staff.” Thybulle’s block numbers are even more amazing given that playing at the top means he most often begins a possession stationed 15 feet or more from the basket. But he has grown to understand how to make the greatest impact from his position.“I think something that is a little bit misunderstood in zone, or at least in our zone, we still guard the ball. I still have to sit down and keep the guy with the ball in front of me,” Thybulle said. “I’ve had to guard guys driving the lane. I’ve had to guard pull-up jumpers. These are all things you’re going to see in a man.“I think I might have a little more help because it’s zone so guys can shift a little bit. But aside from that, zone or man, we’re still playing defense. In football, they play zone or man, they’re still playing defense.”last_img read more