Arsenal’s season have finally ended, the season that promised so much but looked like was going to deliver nothing, finally delivered something, England’s oldest trophy, the Emirates FA Cup.
As important as the euphoria of winning a title this season is, Arsenal cannot afford to build a monument around it, there is no time for such luxury and laxity. It is just four weeks away from the new season and Arsenal need to be ready fast. The team is definitely a work in progress with Arteta needing players to kickstart the rebuilding process. The main target seems the Athletico Madrid Ghanaian midfielder, Thomas Partey.
From what Arteta has shown so far, it seems his tactics are premised on high pressing and this is where Partey will come in handy. He is a tireless worker with a turbo engine. Partey is one that could be referred to as an all round action midfielder who has the talent, discipline and legs to fit into multiple roles. He has the discipline to play the defensive midfield role as he is astute in tackles, ground or aerial battle, and breaking up plays.
That is the position he plays most times for Athletico Madrid and in that role, he excelled against Liverpool at Anfield in an all action display. Against the Reds at Anfield, he had 25 forward passes, 12 ball recoveries, 5 tackles won, 4 interceptions, 4 clearances and 2 blocks. To boast such stats against a “ghenghen” pressing team like Liverpool right at Anfield is a pointer to what he is capable of doing.
At Arsenal, he would tick the right box and would allow Arteta to tinker with his tactics as he could deploy a single defensive midfielder which would allow him an extra body in attack. His arrival could mark the end of Uruguayan, Lucas Torreira as he might be preferred as the perfect partner for Granit Xhaka. His presence could mean Xhaka gets the license to veer forward to release more of his trademark ballistic shots. With Guendozi already linked with a move away, Partey could be a replacement.
How easy would the acquisition be for Arsenal? It would not cost an arm and a leg but Arsenal need to be proactive about it. He has already shown the readiness and desire to grace the Premier League and his reluctance to sign a new deal is a pointer to that willingness to switch leagues. Athletico Madrid have a reputation of being a selling club as they have sold top stars in time past; Torres, De Gea, Diego Costa, Aguero, Falcao, Courtois, Griezmann amongst others. Once the price is right, they are always ready to deal. At Athletico Madrid, every player is available at the right price!
The issue is not about Athletico Madrid selling but Arsenal being the club to buy, dithering from Arsenal could see the deal hijacked by more ambitious side. Partey ticks all the empty and important boxes in Arsenal’s midfield and he could even lend a helping hand at the heart of defence. His arrival will be a clear statement of intent from the Gunners, it is like saying they are ready to fight for a top 4 finish and European glory.
Arsenal already have European football to further lure Partey, they should make Athletico Madrid an offer they cannot refuse. It is high time the “Partey” began.