The 27-year-old Ghanaian, who joined for £45m at the beginning of the campaign, was superb in the Gunners’ 2-1 win over Tottenham in the North London derby at the weekend.
And Gilberto, who played in central midfield for Arsenal for six years between 2002 and 2008, feels Partey is filling a void that has been absent for some time at the Emirates.
Asked if Partey was the best holding midfielder at Arsenal since he left, the Brazilian told Astro SuperSport: "I guess so. In my opinion, I agree with you. He’s a good player. He’s the type of player Arsenal were missing, I’ve spoken a couple of times about it.
"They have good players in the [central midfield] position but not to sit and give Arsenal the stability they have.
"Look at the game [against Spurs] it was great to see how he managed his game, how he managed that position, helping [team-mates].
"You know what is very important about this particular position? This is a very particular position because not every time you get the credit you deserve.
"That’s okay, it’s fine, because you have to understand that. But this guy, when he understands the position like Partey, look at his game. He made the others a lot better.
"He makes Xhaka look better in the game, he made the defenders look a lot better and comfortable when the ball was against them.
"I think the way he manages games, the way he positions himself, is very important for Arsenal. He is the kind of player Arsenal have needed for quite a long time in my opinion."
Arsenal remain 10th in the Premier League table despite their win over Spurs at the weekend.
The Gunners will now turn their attention to the Europa League as they prepare for the second leg of their last 16 tie against Olympiacos.
Mikel Arteta’s side head into the match having won 3-1 away in Greece last week.