While our deadline day arrival was huge, it wasn’t our best bit of business.
The euphoria of securing not just a late deadline day signing, but a bloomin’ good one at that, is still yet to properly sink in. We’ve got to see Thomas Partey in the kit, but he still hasn’t kicked a ball for Arsenal yet.
While the true extent of his acquisition will take time to embed itself, it can’t be forgotten that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s contract extension was the pinnacle of the summer window.
I greatly oppose the term ‘like a new signing’ when a player returns from injury or someone signs a new deal, since it’s just plain silly. A new signing isn’t a new signing if they’ve already played X amount of games for the club. Thus, I won’t go there.
But there is no brushing over the magnitude of keeping hold of Aubameyang for the next few years, both for what he offers the team, and what he offers the club. Quality, leadership and goals for the former, of course, as well as an enticement for potential incomings. Any player pondering a move to Arsenal will strongly favour doing so with a player of his ilk in the ranks.
Partey is no different.
He made it clear while speaking to the Express that the Gunners keeping hold of the captain is a statement of intent:
“By keeping players like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, it helps me understand that the club wants to achieve greater things and for me it is great to play along great players like him.”
That added allure can’t be understated. For Arsenal to grow and continue progressing under Mikel Arteta, we need good players. Pretty straightforward. If we have good players, other good players will come. Equally straightforward.
We can bang on about the club’s history and the welcoming environment Arsenal can provide, but a player in his prime at 27 will not be so easily convinced when the captain and talisman leaves at 31 years old to seek silverware elsewhere.
Besides, we’re all fidgeting in our seats waiting for this pairing, and many others, to spring into life: Partey/Pepe, Partey/Ceballos, Partey/Xhaka, the list goes on. An exciting period in the club’s history is underway, but without Aubameyang signing on the dotted line to act as the hook for the next catch, it would have been two steps back.