Roy Keane labelled Thomas Partey "outstanding" after the Arsenal midfielder's display against Manchester United, going so far as to compare him to Gunners icon Patrick Vieira.
Partey shone in the 1-0 win against the Red Devils, helping Arsenal dominate in midfield on their way to a first win at Old Trafford in 14 years.
The Ghanaian was making his second start in the Premier League after his £45million transfer from Atletico Madrid on Deadline Day.
With La Liga giants Atletico, Partey won the Europa League and featured in the 2016 Champions League final – so it was no surprise to Keane to see the 27-year-old impress on the big stage.
"He was outstanding. He’s obviously no mug having played in big games," Keane told Sky Sports .
Keane even admitted he would like to have seen United meet Partey's release clause last summer as he continued his glowing verdict.
The former Red Devils captain added: "When you watch a player live that’s when you can judge a player and the more I look at him the more I wish he was in the United midfield.
"He’s big, strong and aggressive – and he can pass it forward. He can deal with the ball."
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Arsenal's capture of Partey gave rise to comparisons with former Arsenal skipper Vieira, who won three Premier League titles and three FA Cups during his time at Highbury.
Keane and fellow pundit Jamie Redknapp believe such comparisons are fair after witnessing Partey boss the midfield versus United.
"I had my battles with Vieira and I think this kid has got a chance of matching what Patrick used to do," Keane said.
Redknapp added: "He's a bit of a throwback. I don't look at him as just a No 6, a No 8 or a defensive midfielder, I just think of him as a really good midfield player that can do everything.
"I think back to the likes of Patrick Viera and Emmanuel Petit – that was the was golden era.
"Arsenal had a desire and energy to get the ball back. They were better in every department.
"Gabriel was magnificent and Partey was the best player on the pitch. He looks like an incredible signing."
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