Arsenal would be taking a “huge risk” if they sell Thomas Partey this summer, according to journalist Charles Watts.
The former Gunners correspondent for Goal told TEAMtalk that losing both the Ghanaian international and Granit Xhaka in the same transfer window would not be advisable:
“I don’t think they are actively pushing him out the door. But should a decent offer arrive for a player who has had consistent injury issues and has only got two years left on his deal when he’s now in his 30s, they’re not going to stand in his way.”
“Personally, I’d be keeping him. You’re basically losing Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey in the same summer, that’s two of your starting three midfielders from last year that nearly won the title.”
“So it’s a huge risk; you’re basically changing the engine room in that midfield. Even if you replace Thomas Partey with a younger player like Lavia, when you’re going into a Champions League campaign and you’re trying to beat Manchester City to the title, I think it’s a risk. So I’d be keeping him.”
There is logic to selling Partey
As Watts points out, there are good arguments for selling the Ghanaian before the transfer window closes. His availability has been poor during the three seasons he has spent at the Emirates, while he isn’t getting any younger. From a purely financial point of view too, this would be the best time to cash in, considering his contract situation.
Even so, removing his experience from the squad, especially after losing Xhaka as well, does raise questions about who will fill the void.
Declan Rice should have the leadership qualities to compensate, when you consider he was West Ham captain, although it is always difficult to judge the impact such changes will have on the dressing room. The dynamics will clearly be different.
Arteta has earned the trust of Arsenal fans
If the decision is made to dispense with Partey’s services, then most supporters will back the judgement of manager Mikel Arteta. After all, he has transformed the squad from also-rans into title challengers.
As Watts says, though, making so many changes to a team that came so close to winning the league last campaign could be dangerous. There are no guarantees that the signings you make will end up improving the team. As some say, ‘winning’ the transfer window doesn’t mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things. The real test will come when the seasons begins.