Arsenal transfer necessity reiterated at Manchester United as £45m signing raises questions

The future of Thomas Partey again came into focus as Arsenal narrowly beat Manchester United

Arsenal hung on against Manchester United to take the title race down to the wire and the final day of the Premier League season. However, it was not the simple task many billed it to be and a single goal proved to be the difference in the end.

Mikel Arteta decided to go for an unchanged side for the clash with Manchester United. Considering the wins over Chelsea, Tottenham and Bournemouth this was hardly a surprise and it was again justified with an important victory over their historic rivals.

However, it was a cagey opening to the game and the first half in particular lacked much of the intensity which we have been so accustomed to. Perhaps it was the occasion with Arsenal knowing anything other than a win would be all but the end of their title hopes.

Part of the below-par display was down to some issues in Thomas Partey’s performance. For much of the season the Ghanaian has been out injured but having re-established himself in the side, he had impressed with his displays.

Yet, the calm and progressive presence that Arsenal supporters have been lamenting not having throughout the season was not there in the northwest. Several mistakes littered the 30-year-old’s performance and Mikel Arteta’s side suffered as a result.

It raises the important question of the decisions that will be made for the Arsenal midfield in the summer. Jorginho has just signed a new contract with the club and will be staying whereas Mohamed Elneny’s contract will expire and is expected to move on.

Partey has just one year left on his Arsenal contract and there is uncertainty about what the club will choose to do and what he will either. Arsenal have been linked to several midfielders including Bruno Guimaraes and Martin Zubimendi.

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Ultimately Arsenal need depth in their squad and having another player in a similar quality bracket would be ideal for Arteta. Whilst Partey offers plenty of quality his consistency perhaps came into question at Old Trafford and his availability has always been in question after missing countless clashes since his arrival from Atletico Madrid.

The challenge is getting the players through the door and after spending £105million on Declan Rice it has set a benchmark which Arsenal will be measured against when they come into negotiations for future targets. The market is sure to be competitive and a greater challenge with two international tournaments but this win at Old Trafford again confirmed the need to strengthen in this area of the field.