Arsenal have made a firm decision to keep Thomas Partey at the club this summer.
Mikel Arteta is determined to keep Partey at the Emirates Stadium, and the player is set to play a key role for the Gunners again this season.
Despite the club-record £105 million summer acquisition of Declan Rice, there will still be plenty of football for Partey this season. Arteta demonstrated his determination to fit him into the Arsenal starting XI by slotting him in as a makeshift right-back against Nottingham Forest.
Partey’s place at Arsenal
As well as his quality on the pitch, Partey’s experience also make him a useful figure for Arsenal to keep around. He also offers continuity in the middle of the park, following the departure of Granit Xhaka.
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The 30-year-old was in excellent form for the vast majority of last season. Partey made 33 appearances as Arsenal finished second to Manchester City in the Premier League. Over the course of the campaign, he showed that he could handle the responsibility of protecting the Gunners’ back four, whilst the likes of Xhaka and Martin Odegaard pressed forward ahead of him.
Despite Arsenal’s need to make sales, it makes sense for Arteta to retain Partey’s services. However, the 45-cap Ghana international’s loss of form at the end of last season was a worry. There will now be question marks over his physical ability to shine on a consistent basis in the Premier League.
On top of that, Arsenal know that they will lose Partey for a period this season regardless, as he is set to represent his country in the Africa Cup of Nations. How Arsenal will cope with Partey’s absence at this time remains to be seen.
Whilst the decision to keep Partey, and his £200k-a-week wages, on the books seems to be a largely sensible one, there are some potential doubts that will have played on Arteta’s mind.