Arsenal

Thomas Partey performance vs Manchester United raises Arsenal midfield transfer dilemma

The Ghanaian’s future is up in the air this summer with only one year remaining on his contract in north London

club have no intention of resting on their laurels. They want to be competing on multiple fronts next season.

In order to do that, senior club sources have acknowledged that they’ll need something more up front. It may seem odd given that Mikel Arteta’s side have scored the most Premier League goals in Arsenal’s history this season, but there is a feeling that a “killer” presence is needed in the final third

It’s unlikely to be an out and out number nine given the lack of viable options on the market right now and Kai Havertz’s excellent recent performances in the role. Instead Arsenal will be looking for a versatile player capable of operating anywhere across the front line.

That’s not the only area they’re looking to strengthen in though. Midfield is another position where the Gunners are likely to be active this summer.

The business in that area of the pitch is already up and running. Arsenal have extended Jorginho’s contract by a further year as they prepare to build a squad to compete next season.

That defensive midfield position is one of particular intrigue right now. Albert Sambi Lokonga and Mohamed Elneny will likely leave the club this summer, while Thomas Partey has just one year remaining on his contract. The Ghanaian has not lost a single game he’s played in in 2023/24, and has started four matches in a row for Arsenal at a crucial stage of the season.

His most recent display against Manchester United was far from convincing though. After an injury hit campaign as a whole it has left many questioning his future at the club.

What happens with Partey could depend on what Arteta decides to do with Declan Rice. Rice has been a revelation since his club-record move from West Ham this summer, but after starting the season as a six, Arteta has opted to use him almost exclusively in a more advanced eight role since March.

If this is where Arteta sees Rice in the long-term it could well impact Partey’s chances of staying. Arsenal are likely to be open to offers for the Ghanaian given his contract situation, but Arteta is still a huge fan of the player. The Gunners have targeted Douglas Luiz and Bruno Guimaraes as long term options in the six role, but neither look likely to happen this summer as things stand. There is less certainty over Martin Zubimendi although it’s understood that the Spaniard is keen to play under Xabi Alonso at some point.

With a long-term solution in the deep lying midfield position hard to find, and Rice being used further forward, Arsenal could well be tempted to keep Partey for the duration of his contract to compete with Jorginho. This in turn could see them look for a more offensive option in the left eight position, where Arteta has struggled to find a true successor to Granit Xhaka. It seems that neither Fabio Vieira or Emile Smith Rowe have been trusted regularly this season, and Arteta may be keen to bring in a different alternative to Rice who can take some of the creative burden off Martin Odegaard.

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