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Transfer Talk: Parting ways with Thomas is risky for Arsenal
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Danny Ryan
Thomas Partey could be on his way out of Arsenal
Thomas Partey could be on his way out of Arsenal

Arsenal are reportedly ready to sell Thomas Partey this summer, with the playmaker attracting interest from Saudi Arabia.

Mikel Arteta is said to want a major overhaul of his midfield after losing out to Manchester City in the Premier League title race last season.

Granit Xhaka is set to join Bayer Leverkusen and Partey, 30, could follow the Swiss out the exit door, with only two years remaining on the Ghana star's contract.

We take a look at whether offloading the 45-cap international would be a wise call by the Gunners.

Partey time

Last season was Partey's finest in an Arsenal shirt since joining the club from Atletico Madrid in 2020.

The No5 was able to shake off his injury-proneness for the most part and feature in 33 Premier League matches.

Partey scored three goals for the North Londoners, including an absolute stunner in the 3-1 victory over rivals Tottenham last October.

The ex-Mallorca loanee made more passes than any other midfielder at Arsenal (1,712), while completing 35 of his 43 attempted take-ons and recording the sixth-most chances created in the squad (26).

His defensive importance to the team is highlighted by the fact he ranked first at the club for tackles (70) and second for interceptions (28).

Thomas Partey was one of Arsenal's standout performers in 2022-23
Thomas Partey was one of Arsenal's standout performers in 2022-23

Dip in form

So why would Arteta be prepared to lose such an important piece of his midfield jigsaw this summer?

It is perhaps because Parety suffered a noticeable dip in form towards the end of last term, which contributed significantly to the collapse of Arsenal's title charge.

The African lynchpin really struggled without the presence of the injured William Saliba behind him — and even lost his starting berth to January recruit Jorginho. 

On Partey's difficult period, Manchester United legend Gary Neville said: "He's been a shadow of himself. He has been nowhere near it. 

"A large part of the season, he has been fantastic. His form and composure have deserted him at the most vital time."

Risky business

But deciding to sell such an experienced figure after a small blip could prove to be a costly mistake by Arsenal.

While the North Londoners are looking to bring in Declan Rice and Romeo Lavia to bolster the midfield, they will still need plenty of alternatives at their disposal in order to compete on multiple fronts. 

Xhaka's impending departure would hypothetically leave Mohamed Elneny and Jorginho as Arteta's only back-up options in the area.

And Partey's experience in the Champions League — a competition he played 31 times in for Atleti — could also be priceless for a young Gunners outfit in 2023-24.

Thomas Partey has been a key player for Mikel Arteta in recent seasons
Thomas Partey has been a key player for Mikel Arteta in recent seasons

Decision time

Arteta has not got many decisions wrong at Arsenal in recent times but the call on Partey's future represents arguably the toughest of his tenure. 

The Ghanaian has so many strings to his bow and his composure on the ball has been key to the Spaniard's playing style.

Replacing such a crucial cog with immediate effect would not be an easy task either. 

Rice is not used to playing in a team which dominates possession in most matches, while 19-year-old Lavia has only one season of Premier League football under his belt. 

Keeping hold of Partey to offer competition and guidance to the pair would perhaps be the wisest move Arsenal could make.


ArsenalPremier LeagueThomas Partey
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