It’s taken its time, but it’s finally Partey time, as Arsenal complete a deal to sign Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey.
The midfielder has long been linked with a move to the Emirates, though there had been little progress as the Gunners have looked to balance the books in the midst of the ongoing pandemic and subsequent economic downturn.
Arsenal were widely criticised for their decision to make 55 staff members redundant earlier this summer, all while handing big-money contracts to Willian, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and completing the signing of Gabriel Magalhaes.
The north London club have looked to further free up funds through player departures, with Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi having headed for the exit door on deadline day, joining Atletico Madrid and Hertha Berlin on loan respectively, while the club have even resorted to letting club mascot Gunnersaurus go.
Atletico Madrid have always maintained their desire to keep Partey, refusing to enter into negotiations for the dynamic central midfielder, pointing Arsenal to his €50 million (£45m) release clause.
Welcome to the Partey! 🥳
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 5, 2020
However, with a matter of hours of the transfer window remaining, Arsenal deposited the funds with La Liga to trigger that release clause, the player having now agreed personal terms and put pen-to-paper on a what is described as a ‘long-term’ deal – the £45 million transfer the most expensive of transfer deadline day.
“Thomas has all the right attributes to be a top player for Arsenal,” club technical director, Edu, told arsenal.com. “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 analysing 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.”
Partey will wear the Number 18 shirt and will potentially making his debut against Manchester City following his return from international duty with Ghana.