‘A part of this family will always be with me’: New Arsenal signing Thomas Partey writes emotional goodbye to Atletico Madrid but club remain angry over last minute deadline day swoop
- Thomas Partey has shared an emotional goodbye message with Atletico Madrid
- The midfielder completed a £45million move to Arsenal on transfer deadline day
- Partey thanked the Spanish side and said the club had been like a family to him
- But Atletico were left furious after the Gunners left it late to get their man
Thomas Partey has penned an emotional farewell message to Atletico Madrid after completing a £45million transfer deadline day move to Arsenal.
The midfielder had been a long-term target for Mikel Arteta but the deal went down to the wire with the Gunners agreeing to meet his release clause just before the window shut.
Partey joined Atletico Madrid as a teenager in 2011 before breaking into first team in the 2015-2016 season. The midfielder went on to become a key player for the LaLiga side and a firm fan favourite during his five years in the senior side.
Thomas Partey has penned an emotional goodbye to Atletico Madrid after his move to Arsenal
Partey wrote on Instagram that the club had been like a family and would alway be with him
Reflecting on his Atletico career, Partey wrote on Instagram: ‘Dear Atletico fans, today I only have words of gratitude with you. For several years now, Atletico Madrid has been my home and a part of this family will always be with me.
‘I want to thank the club for the trust placed in me from day one, but above all, I want to thank you, this wonderful hobby that I accepted from the first moment and that has shown that it is both in good times and in bad times and you never truly stop believing. Atletico Madrid is not just a club, it is a family. Thank you.’
While Partey was full of gratitude for his former club, Atletico and manager Diego Simeone were reportedly left furious over the timing of the deal.
The midfielder joined Atletico as a teenager in 2011 and went on to become a fan favourite
AS report that Arsenal had not told them they would pay the release clause and only received confirmation the contract demands had been met 32 minutes before Monday’s 11pm deadline.
According to Libertad Digital, Simeone was so confident Partey was set to stay that he discussed midfield tactics with his own deadline day arrival -Lucas Torreira – who completed a season-long loan move from the Emirates.
Atletico’s statement on their official website read: ‘LaLiga informed Atletico de Madrid at 11.28pm on Monday that Arsenal representatives have paid Thomas Partey’s release clause at the sports association’s headquarters.
‘The player has therefore unilaterally terminated his contract with our club, which ran until June 30, 2023.’
Atletico and manager Diego Simeone were left furious over the timing of the late transfer
ESPN report that Partey has put pen to paper on a four-year-deal with an option for a further year. Arsenal had chased the 27-year-old for much of the transfer window but had originally been reluctant to pay the £45m release clause before the club made their late swoop.
And Arteta expressed his delight at finally getting his man, telling the club’s website: ‘We have been watching Thomas for a while, so we’re now delighted to add such a high quality player to our squad. 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.’
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