£25m bid accepted, summer signing instruction - Thomas Partey Arsenal transfer verdict given

Thomas Partey of Arsenal celebrates

Thomas Partey played a crucial role in Arsenal's North London Derby victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon.

The Ghanaian midfielder has been missing for the vast majority of the season, though issued a clear reminder of his quality at the weekend after playing a starring role in the Gunners' dramatic 3-2 triumph.

This was the first time Partey had completed 90 minutes in a match since featuring in a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace in August, such has been the injury struggles of the 30-year-old.

Indeed, the former Atletico Madrid man has missed a total of 72 matches since signing for Arsenal in 2020 and is someone Mikel Arteta has therefore been unable to rely upon at all times.

Highlighting the value of the 2017/18 La Liga winner, Arteta said on Sunday: "He’s a really important player and we have missed him for many months. He looks in great shape". "It’s his presence, his quality, his physicality and his experience."

With one year remaining on his current contract, transfer chief Edu is facing an important decision over what the future holds for the Arsenal No.5. Do they choose to prolong Partey's stay in the capital or part ways with one of the highest earners in the squad with an unfavourable availability record? writers have had their say, below.

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Kaya Kaynak - Arsenal Writer

It's a really tricky decision this for Arsenal. I think in an ideal world Mikel Arteta would like to keep Thomas Partey.

Arsenal's bank balance isn't necessarily his problem after all, it's the performances on the pitch. When you look at it purely from that perspective, Partey has to stay. When he's in full flow there's few players in the Premier League or world football that can match his specific skillset.

On the other hand though, from a business perspective it's maybe time to let him go. Partey will have one year left on his contract in the summer, by which point he will have turned 31. Arsenal probably won't want to lose him on a free so this is realistically their last chance to cash in. Equally Partey, moving on could free up space in the squad for a younger alternative.

Looking at the market I don't quite see who that player is though. I really like Martin Zubimendi, but there's always a risk in bringing someone to a new league. The same goes for Frenkie De Jong, while I think Bruno Guimaraes and Douglas Luiz will be too expensive. It's not an easy decision for Arsenal but I think if there's no one better out there this summer then you may as well keep Partey.

Verdict: Keep, if they can't find a replacement.

Joe Doyle - Content Editor

In general, Arsenal have been really good with transfers recently - proactive in knowing exactly the profile who will fit the team, and reactive in the best way to sort deals like Leandro Trossard when a move for Mykhailo Mudryk fell through.

One area they have done fairly well at since Mikel Arteta arrived is knowing when to move a player on - but there have been financial issues with that. Ending Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's contract early so he could seal a move was a wise choice for the team, but not a prudent one financially.

I think for Arsenal to become a real top competitor in Europe, they need to become a club that sells players at the right time. Look at Manchester City with Gabriel Jesus - objectively still a good player, but they made a tidy profit on him and managed to strengthen the team elsewhere. Perhaps the best example is Real Madrid. They sold Casemiro and Raphael Varane for big money when they were still arguably dominating the European game; but the club knew the peak years were coming to an end.

I think that's where Arsenal are with Partey. While he's still a good player, he turns 31 this summer and has reached his ceiling in terms of ability. They've already had an injury-wrecked year with him, and with his type of role he will only pick up more throughout his time.

Verdict: If they get a suitable offer, sell.

Tom Canton - Arsenal Writer

The question very much pertains to what the summer transfer window holds itself. Thomas Partey is an asset to Arsenal and has showcased that over his last two starts which have resulted in eight goals being scored against two ‘Big Six’ sides.

However, the reality is that the Ghanaian cannot guarantee significant attendance and in only one season has played more than 30 Premier League games since arriving in 2020. The other seasons saw 24, 24 and in this season so far just 11.

A big investment and one of the top earners at the club, can the Gunners afford to risk that next season when the pressure to deliver silverware will be at an all-time high under Mikel Arteta? That said, the midfield market isn’t necessarily offering up a Declan Rice-esque guarantee of a banker.

Youssouf Fofana and Martin Zubimendi are good options but come with their own risks. Only Joshua Kimmich offers the elite-level quality that Arsenal need but coaxing him away from Bayern Munich relies very much on the choice of their new coach.
In short… I’m getting splinters from the fence on this one. One to revisit for sure when the options of the summer reveal themselves.

Verdict: Wait

Sam Truelove - Content Editor

I think people forget just how good Thomas Partey was for Arsenal following his £45million arrival from Atletico Madrid on deadline day in the summer of 2020.

"We have been watching Thomas for a while, so we're now delighted to add such a high quality player to our squad," Mikel Arteta said after the deal was announced. "He is a dynamic midfielder with great energy. He brings a lot of experience from a top club that has competed at the highest level in La Liga and the Champions League for several years."

The midfielder certainly brought quality and experience and has been a big part of the Gunners becoming title challengers. The Ghana international was perhaps at his best last season, where he made 40 appearances in all competitions and contributed with three goals, including a glorious strike against Tottenham in January 2022.

However, the 30-year-old's influence has waned this campaign. Partey has been hampered by injury and he has made just 13 appearances. Declan Rice, Jorginho and Martin Odegaard have been much more reliable in Arsenal's midfield and if the Gunners receive a suitable offer this summer, I would cash in.

Partey has just one year remaining on his contract and Arsenal are likely to be in the market for another midfielder anyway. An offer of £20million-plus should do the trick, but it is not the end of the world if Partey stays and ends up leaving for nothing at the end of the 2024/25 season. His experience and quality are not a bad thing to have around for a further year.

Verdict: Sell

Tom Cavilla - Central Audience Writer

It will be interesting to see what Arsenal decide to do with Partey.

There can be no disputing he has been a key performer for the club over the years, the trouble is that hasn't happened on enough of a frequent basis due to his injury issues.

If Arsenal are to sell the midfielder, this summer is their only real opportunity to do so due his contract expiring in 2025. Losing Partey on a free transfer next year would make little sense, so a decision is required in the coming weeks.

A new contract would surely make sense as the Gunners continue to compete for the biggest prizes in world football, which requires a squad full of options at various stages of the season. Handing out a five-year deal is unlikely to be the case, though the option for an extension of two or three years would be plausible.

When fit, Partey is one of Arsenal's crucial players and it may be unwise to sacrifice such an individual. I would be looking to prolong his stay at Emirates Stadium this summer, avoiding the unthinkable scenario of failing to recoup a transfer fee for a player the club signed for £45million.

Verdict: Keep

Amie Wilson - Central Audience Writer

When considering Partey's long-term future at the club, Arsenal will have to weigh up the risk vs reward. While he proved his quality against Tottenham at the weekend, is Partey available enough of the time to be able to justify the wages that are spent on him?

The Premier League’s crackdown on Profitability and Sustainability rules (PSR) means that the question will have to be asked more for every club. While Partey is valuable when he’s available, I would seriously consider letting him go if the opportunity arises in the summer.

He will have one year remaining on his contract, meaning it’s potentially the last time that Arsenal could get a decent fee, what would that be, but it has recently been suggested that Arsenal could look at a fee of between £20million-£25million, plus it frees up some extra money through his wages. Mikel Arteta’s side have shown that they can still challenge at the top without him, and it could allow the side to bring in another new player who would be available more often, but may not be earning as much in wages

Verdict: Sell

Hush Kerai - Central Audience Editor

Thomas Partey has simply not been available enough since his £45million move from Atletico Madrid for Arsenal to continue to justify paying his sizeable wages, despite the recent impressive performance in the north London derby win.

With his contract running out, the wisest thing for the club to do is to cash in on his value and look to re-invest in the transfer market this summer. Declan Rice and Martin Odegaard could both still be elevated if Arsenal can find a player of Partey's quality, but someone they can rely on for 40 to 50 games in a gruelling season.

Edu is in a position where Arsenal do not enter the summer market in any kind of desperation, so the time is there to find the perfect player to complement what the Gunners already have in that midfield.

Would Thomas Partey be kept around at Manchester City? Probably not. Those are the standards by which Arsenal need to operate with regards to squad building, at least.

Verdict: Sell

Josh Holland - Central Audience Writer

In what is expected to be another huge summer for Arsenal, I’ve always leaned on the side that Thomas Partey would be one of the players identified to sell to raise relevant funds.

At 30, he’s still capable of playing at a top level but his injury record is concerning. The Tottenham game was his first 90 minutes of the season and that isn’t ideal for a team looking to compete in the Premier League and UEFA Champions League.

Arsenal's midfield could do with reinforcements in the summer and selling Partey in their last opportunity to do so could be the smarter choice.

Partey is still capable of performing at the highest level but with his contract set to expire next summer, his future in north London looks bleak. At any other club, like Man City, you'd expect him to be sold in this summer.

Sentiment is a great thing in football but it can't be used in every scenario.

Verdict: Sell