Midfielder Thomas Partey was signed from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2020 on a five years deal for a fee believed to be around £45m. Prior to his arrival, Arsenal had been missing a quality defensive midfielder.
His time at Arsenal didn’t start to well. He was plagued with injuries, but when he did play, he showed many of his food qualities. The season that’s just ended was probably his best for the club. He played 33 games, starting, making 28 starts. He also scored three goals. The five games he missed were through injury. This was a better record than other seasons. Most of playing time was played in his natural position of defensive midfield. He played at right back/right wingback in the game against Nottingham Forest. A very strange decision at the time.
For much of the season he was as good as any defensive midfielder in the league, controlling games well and making telling contributions. Like any good defensive midfielders, the team felt in absence, when ever he didn’t play. The tempo of Arsenal’s play was never the same when he was not playing, but the results without him were not as bad as Manchester United’s without Casemiro.
His form dipped towards the business end of the season, so did the rest of the team. There were also a few games where he was not able to influence the game. The games against Manchester City are probably the most obvious. Declan Rice dominated the game at the London stadium when Arsenal played West Ham. It was his dip in form and the manner which was more alarming than the matches against Manchester City.
Arsenal have decided they need a better defensive midfielder, one that can impose himself more on games and they have decided that Declan Rice is that man. Not that Thomas Partey is not a good player, but Rice is an upgrade on him. Declan Rice is good enough to get to the level of Casemiro and Rodri, and also be as influential as both of them on Arsenal success.
If Arsenal are able to get the deal done, it may mean that Thomas Partey may have to find a new club if he is seeking regular football. He will into want to sit on the bench. There are bound to be clubs interested in his signature. Transfer expert, Fabrizio wrote on his twitter page that there are interests in Thomas Partey and there is a real chance that he could leave the club this summer.
🚨 Understand there’s concrete chance for Thomas Partey to leave Arsenal this summer. Clubs are interested and there are discussions about his exit. #AFC
Current contract expiring in June 2025 and no talks to extend as of today.
Arsenal priority remains Declan Rice. pic.twitter.com/LwrUPhQ6sF
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 18, 2023
His contract expires in 2025 and he also turned 30 this month. If Arsenal decides to sell, this summer is the best time to get a good price for him. His departure would leave Arsenal short of quality defensive midfield cover. Elneny has been an adequate cover for many years. Jorginho is also an able deputy, but Arsenal needs a younger backup. Roméo Lavia at relegated Southampton would be a good backup. He is young and still learning his trade. There will be many clubs after the player and Arsenal will have a serious fight for his signature.