A poor end to the 2022/23 season hung a cloud over Thomas Partey’s future in north London, but the Ghanaian midfielder is now expected to stay at Arsenal this summer.
Partey has played such a key role in the club’s ascension under Mikel Arteta, although his availability did prove an issue in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 campaigns. Injury woes weren’t such an issue last season, although he did struggle with fitness down the stretch as his performance levels dipped.
Jorginho was eventually favoured over Partey at the base of the midfield with the latter performing an inverted right-back function in the club’s final two games of the season.
Arsenal’s early summer business which has seen both Kai Havertz and Declan Rice join the club then further intensified speculation regarding Partey’s future – a player the club would’ve never contemplated selling just a few months prior.
However, despite the speculation and reported interest from Juventus and the Saudi Pro League, Partey, who started Arsenal’s opening pre-season fixture against FC Nurnberg earlier this month, is expected to remain with the Gunners for 2023/24.
Arsenal unlikely to sell ‘super important’ Thomas Partey this summer
Arteta was asked ahead of Saturday’s friendly against Man Utd whether Partey was still a part of his plans, and his response was convincing: “Without a question of a doubt. Thomas is a super important player for us and for me. I want him to be part of the team. That’s for sure,” he told football.london.
The £105m arrival of Rice, who could play as both a #6 and #8 in Arteta’s system, will likely reduce Partey’s significance next season, especially given Kai Havertz’s potential in midfield, but Arteta has insisted that his shiny new toy can work in harmony with the former Atletico Madrid star.
“Yes, they can play together. That was in my plans,” Arteta said. “If you want to improve the squad and have more quality, you need players that can improve the squad and players in the same position that can fight for the same places. It’s something we haven’t had in the last few years, we wanted to improve that. That’s why we bought Declan as well,” he added.
While some supporters were keen to see the back of Partey for the right price this summer, there’s no denying that Arsenal boast a stronger squad with him in it. With Rice potentially taking some time to adjust to a more possession-oriented set-up, Partey could yet play a key role for the Gunners at the start of 2023/24.