Photo via Sky Sports
Arsenal and manager Mikel Arteta finally got a midfielder they sorely needed on the Premier League transfer deadline day. The club acquired Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid as they activated his 45 million euro release clause, paying a total of 50 million euros for his services. In exchange, Arsenal also sent midfielder Lucas Torreira to Atletico Madrid on a one-year loan. Partey signed a four-year deal with an option for a fifth season and will be paid 250K euros per week.
“We have been watching Thomas for a while, so we’re now delighted to add such a high-quality player to our squad,” said Arteta. “He is a dynamic midfielder with great energy. He brings a lot of experience from a top club that has competed at the highest level in La Liga and the Champions League for several years. We’re very impressed with his attitude and his approach to the game. He’s an intelligent footballer and we’re looking forward to him integrating into our system and contributing to the progress we’re building at the moment at the club.”
One of the biggest reasons Arsenal has failed to qualify for the Champions League for the last few years and consistently compete against the best the Premier League has to offer is due to the lackluster midfield. The unit has consistently struggled to maintain possession and create adequate chances to score against elite clubs. Granit Xhaka has improved under Arteta but more change was needed.
Partey is a dynamic playmaker who provides energy on the defensive side of the ball while constantly interrupting counterattacks. On the attack, he knows how to set up a high-quality scoring chance, whether it comes from an assist for simply get the ball moving in the offensive zone. He was part of a stout Atletico Madrid midfield which helped to eliminate Liverpool in the round of 16 in the UCL last season.
“Thomas has all the right attributes to be a top player for Arsenal,” said Edu, Arsenal’s technical director. “He is a leader on and off the pitch and he is exactly the kind of player and person we want at the club.
We already feel like we know Thomas very well based on the work we have done analyzing his performances closely in recent times. With his all-round game and positive aggressive style, he will be a brilliant addition to our squad. We’ve made a strong start to the season and we want to continue to build on this with Thomas now part of our club.”
Arsenal has already added winger Willian and defender Gabriel Magalhaes as significant additions to their roster. Gabriel and Willian have already left an impact on the club, leading Arsenal to a 3-1 start in the 2020-21 Premier League campaign. Adding Partey will help make Arsenal better at the position which has been their weak point the last few years.
While missing out on Houssam Aouar from Lyon, Arsenal still managed to acquire a top transfer target on deadline day. Torreira heads to Atletico and Matteo Guendouzi joins Hertha Berlin on loan for the rest of the season as well. While depth may be a question mark going forward, the quality of the move more than makes up for the concern.
Arsenal sits fourth in the Premier League table as we head into this month’s international break. Arsenal will face Manchester City on October 17.