Arsenal are in the process of making a sensation deadline day move for Thomas Partey, bringing an end to one of the longest-running transfer sagas of the summer.
The Gunners have been in the market for a midfielder and the impending departures of Lucas Torreira and Mateo Guendouzi only further highlights the need for reinforcement in the middle.
They had been linked with both Thomas Partey and Houssem Auoar for most of the summer, but after the Lyon president explicitly ruled out the sale of the latter, all focus was shifted to the Ghana international.
According to David Ornstein of the Athletic, the Premier League side have been in contact with their Spanish counterparts over the possibility of a move and are optimistic of wrapping up the deal before the transfer window slams shut.
Contingencies have been put in place to expedite the deal, including conducting medicals in Spain to save time. Thomas Partey reportedly has a €50m release clause and the north London side are said to be willing to pay the full value of his release clause.
The potential arrival of Thomas Partey would help inject steel into Arsenal's midfield
For all the progress made by Arsenal under Mikel Arteta, they have still been plagued by the soft underbelly that has been their undoing for the last decade.
For too long, the Gunners have lacked the physical presence in the middle of the field to help impose their game on opponents and the few players who showed some promise (including Torreira and Guendouzi) have since fallen off the line.
This is where the potential arrival of Thomas Partey is instrumental, as the Ghana international possesses the physicality and strength that has been sorely lacking in the Arsenal midfield.
Having spent the last five years under the tutelage of the legendary Diego Simeone, the 27-year-old is no stranger to the more rigorous and demanding part of the game.
He is, however, not a one-trick pony and is among the few genuine box-to-box players adept at both defending and launching attacks, while he has also shown a marked improvement in his technique, ball distribution and shooting in recent years.
Although some fans would have preferred the arrival of the younger and more attack-minded Houssem Aouar, by virtue of what the current squad needs, a case can be made that Thomas Partey is the more important signing.
Published 05 Oct 2020, 20:28 IST