According to head coach Diego Simeone, Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey is well enough to play for “the best teams in Europe.”

After eight years in Madrid, Thomas was linked to a move to the Premier League with Arsenal, where he first featured for the youth and reserve teams at Atleti.

Simeone can see why such a move will appeal to the London club and several other European giants, even if Thomas is still looking for continuity.

“Thomas is the one who understands this position best, and the transition from defense to attacking, shooting, scoring, assisting and playing passes between the lines,” Simeone told reporters ahead of Atleti ‘s game against Osasana.

“While he is consistently at his highest level he is so successful that all of Europe’s best teams are looking at him.”This time last year, Joao Felix was one of the most sought-after talents on the continent, but his first season at Atleti wasn’t completely up to speed.

A €126 million (£112m/$142 m) signed by Benfica, the Portuguese played just four times in La Liga and was not on the weekend draw with Athletic Bilbao because of a knee injury.

Simeone’s remarks came after he had sustained a thigh strain from Atletico’s reported defender Felipe. The 31-year-old suffered a setback due to injury, having already missed Sunday’s stalemate at Athletic, the first game at Atleti since the resumption of La Liga.

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