Arsenal are close to signing Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey, as they have finally agreed a deal with the Spanish side.
Partey has been linked with a move to Arsenal all summer, and just when it seemed like a transfer was not going to happen, the Gunners moved to match his release clause.
As per the reliable Fabrizio Romano, Partey is in London and will have his medical soon as the club scramble to complete the deal before the deadline of 11pm.
Partey will cost the club €50million, but he could become an integral player under Mikel Arteta, under whom the club have shown signs of getting back to the top.
Thomas Partey to Arsenal – The player they sorely needed?
Arsenal have played good pragmatic football under Arteta as the Spaniard has made the best use of his resources and made the Gunners a tough side to beat.
Since his arrival, Arsenal have won the FA Cup and the FA Community Shield, and have beaten some of the best sides in the league. However, further quality was needed to drive them to an even higher level, and Partey could be the missing piece of the jigsaw.
Arsenal’s midfield needs someone who can not only pass well and drive forward, but also break play and win the ball back from opposition players, something Liverpool’s Fabinho did really well against them a week or so ago.
Partey can do the aforementioned things, and his presence in the midfield would add more steel and doggedness to their team and make them even harder to break down and penetrate. His arrival will also free up Dani Ceballos whose creativity in the final third can be telling.
Ceballos has often been used in a deep-playing making role, but with Partey in the team, Arteta can use the former in a more advanced role to unlock defences.
With Xhaka impressing under Arteta, the Spaniard can play a two-man midfield of Xhaka and Partey, which would then allow Ceballos to be used in a free role or as a number 10. Though there aren’t too many number 10s around, Ceballos can play that role to perfection, and can drop back when his side are under the cosh.
Although a bit pricey, Partey’s arrival makes Arsenal a more complete unit, and they can target a place in the top four with the balanced team.