Who is Thomas Partey? Arsenal sign Atletico Madrid's midfielder in the last minute of EPL's transfer window
Arsenal may have lost out on Houssem Aouar, but they do have a promising midfielder in Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid. The Gunners signed him up in the last minute of the EPL's transfer window that closed Monday, October 5. Partey completed a medical on Monday after the Premier League side triggered his £45 million ($58M) release clause. Although he was on Arsenal's radar all summer, the finance aspect was a challenge as Atletico sat strong on their valuation.
Lucas Torreira finalizing a loan move to Atletico in a separate transaction and Matteo Guendouzi joining Hertha Berlin on loan made room for Partey to make the roster. According to ESPN, Partey has signed a four-year contract with an option to extend and his salary comes to approximately £250,000 ($324,687) per week. Partey comes in place of Aouar after Arsenal couldn't meet Lyon's asking price. They had their focus on Chelsea's Jorginho and Porto midfielder Danilo Pereira but opted to chase neither with the latter moving to PSG.
Partey comes with some major pluses that will boost Arsenal's chances this season. The Ghanaian star also happens to be the vice-captain of the national team with his debut in 2016. A year later, he recorded his first hat-trick in a 5–1 win against Congo in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification. Partey won the Ghana Player of the Year in 2018 and 2019 and was promoted to being second-in-command after impressive performances against Guinea-Bissau and Tunisia at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations held in Egypt.
Partey signed with Atletico in 2011 and was part of their reserves before being loaned to Mallorca. This was followed by a move to the La Liga side Almería on a loan. The first team debut with Atletico came in 2015 against Espanyol. He went on to play in the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid. Partey is known for being a rock-solid defender and this means Mikel Arteta will have a midfielder a lot better than Torreira and Guendouzi that would add to the Gunners' defense.
The defenders' workload gets a significant reduction and that would augur well for Arsenal. The side is coming off a 2-1 win and will face Manchester City next on October 17, 2020.