Arsenal legend Martin Keown has had some harsh words to say about the Gunners’ recruitment of Nicolas Pepe and Thomas Partey over the last two years.
Mikel Arteta’s men were woeful last season. We finished eighth and dropped out of Europe, making it our worst campaign in over 25 years. A lot of that, according to fans and pundits, is down to our poor recruitment.
As much as we’d like to have a go at the Kroenkes for not investing in our club, we’ve spent a considerable amount of money in recent years. Two of our biggest signings before the start of this window were Pepe in 2019 and Partey last year.
Both players have had their highs in patches at Arsenal, but neither have lived up to their price tag just yet. Keown is not happy about that, and has gone on to call Partey ‘a disappointment’.
Keown: Thomas Partey has been a disappointment
He told Stadium Astro: “Recruitment, it’s glaring. When you look at Pepe and the money they’ve spent and you’re looking for a performance. It’s not about marquee signing or making a statement with what you spend. It’s who you buy and then how they perform.
“I think Partey has been one of the best signings they’ve made. I like Gabriel as a central defender, but Partey can’t stay fit and he has been a disappointment. When you look at the recruitment and who has been bought, it’s not going well.”
The Insider’s View:
Partey, 28, has not lived up to the expectations, but it’s not really been his fault. When he has been fit, he has mostly been brilliant, but injuries have been really cruel on the Ghanaian ever since he joined us last summer.
The former Atletico Madrid man was absolutely phenomenal for us in pre-season. It really did look like he was playing to prove people wrong, but an injury just two weeks before the start of the campaign has sidelined him again.
Arsenal have revealed that Partey is expected to return by the end of this month. He has a small chance of being fit for the game against Manchester City, but realistically, he should be back after the international break when we face Norwich at the Emirates.