Unai Emery wanted Arsenal to sign Thomas Partey over the summer, but the club decided to commit their funds to bringing in a winger instead.
David Ornstein wrote in his Monday column for The Athletic that Partey was desperate for a move to Arsenal, and he had a €50m release clause. Unai Emery wanted to sign Partey to reinforce central midfield.
Unfortunately, Arsenal knew they were already committing a huge portion of their transfer budget to signing a wide player, either Wilfried Zaha or Nicolas Pepe. As a result, they didn’t have the funds left over for a €50m midfielder as well.
The rumours of Partey’s excitement to play in the Premier League started before the summer even began. Unai Emery scouted him in person during a game between Atletico and Levante in May, and the player’s father suggested it could be time to move on.
Ornstein’s comments don’t come as a shock, then. It’s interesting to get some confirmation on the reports all the same.
Partey is up to 19 appearances for the season already. He missed one game against Real Sociedad with injury and one against Granada through suspension, but that’s it.
With a contract lasting until 2023, Arsenal aren’t going to find it any easier to pry the 26-year-old away from a club he’s clearly a key player for.