Arsenal are now among the favourites to finish in the top four in the Premier League after signing Thomas Partey, because the £45million man can do everything Mikel Arteta wants in a midfielder. That’s the opinion of former Arsenal player Stewart Robson.
Partey became Arsenal’s biggest signing of the window as he joined from Atletico Madrid on deadline day.
The Ghanaian international flew to London on Monday after the Gunners paid his £45m release clause.
Arteta had been eager to sign a new midfielder throughout the summer window, and pinpointed Partey as one of his top targets.
Houssem Aouar was identified as a potentially cheaper option, but the Gunners were reluctant to meet Lyon’s £50m asking price.
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It appeared they would end the window without signing a new midfielder over the weekend, after claims Atletico were confident nobody would touch Partey’s release clause.
However, La Liga confirmed on Monday afternoon that Arsenal had paid the £45m required to release Partey from his release clause, giving Arteta the player he had been after throughout the summer.
The 27-year-old, who inked a four-year deal with a club option for a fifth year, is expected to slot straight into the first XI for Arsenal’s trip to face Manchester City after the international break.
And former Gunners player Robson believes the signing makes Arsenal favourites to finish in the top four in the Premier League, because he can do anything needed in the middle of the midfield.
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Speaking to ESPN FC, the pundit explained that Partey will be a valuable asset to Arsenal both defensively and with moving the ball forward.
“I think Arsenal are top four contenders now, because we’ve seen Manchester United perform so badly, I thought they’d be top four contenders but they’re struggling at the moment. We’re still not sure about Chelsea,” Robson said.
“I think Arsenal even without Partey could get into the top four.
“But with him, they’ve got a much better midfield. That’s one area I was worried about with them.
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“Elneny coming back in from the cold, I’m not sure gives them quite enough. Xhaka is always going to make a mistake and I’m not sure he was too disciplined at times. Ceballos, I’m not sure he’s too good defensively.
“With Partey coming in… and I don’t think he always played in his best position for Atletico because he usually played on the wide left of a midfield four, but in that central position he can do every job you want from a midfield player.
“He’s dynamic enough to win the ball back, he’s dynamic enough with his passing and he’ll run forward as well.
“He’s a good signing for Arsenal.”
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