The surprise name to challenge Alexandre Lacazette and Granit Xhaka for Arsenal free-kick duty


Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has a number of players at his disposal who are all very capable of scoring direct from a free-kick.

One of Nicolas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette, Granit Xhaka, David Luiz, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are usually found over the ball when the Gunners are awarded a set-piece in a dangerous area.

This season has seen Xhaka score a brilliant free-kick against Chelsea on Boxing Day as Arsenal‘s Premier League revival began with a 3-1 win at the Emirates Stadium.

Meanwhile, there was a stunning effort from captain Aubameyang to seal victory for 10-man Arsenal at home to Aston Villa last season.

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But that effort had nothing on Pepe’s brace.

The Ivory Coast international repaid a large chunk of his club-record £72m transfer fee when he climbed off the bench to net two stunning free-kicks against Vitoria in the Europa League group phase last season.

With that said, Arsenal have only scored directly from a free-kick once this season and it could be time for the likes of Xhaka, Pepe, and Lacazette – who hit the crossbar in the goalless against Manchester United – to step aside and let a teammate have a go.

And a new name might have just staked his claim to be on free-kick duty from now on.

Thomas Partey has not built up a reputation for being a free-kick specialist but showed he’s capable of doing so during Tuesday’s training session at London Colney.

At around the 5.55-minute mark of the ‘Behind the scenes at Arsenal training centre’ uploaded to the club’s website, the midfielder scores with a stunning long-range effort.

The summer transfer window is just around the corner.

And the rumour mill is already starting to pick up speed.

Arsenal will not have a huge amount of money to spend, but Mikel Arteta will be hoping to make a number of moves, with loanee Martin Odegaard high up the list of priorities to bring in on a permanent deal.

But who would you sign? Get involved in our transfer window debate here.

Partey is yet to get off the mark since his £45m transfer last summer.

But Arsenal fans may get the chance to see how good he really is at free-kicks if an opportunity arises between now and the end of the season.

Next up for the Gunners is the Europa League quarter-final first-leg tie against Slavia Prague on Thursday night.





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