Thomas Partey has changed his shirt number from 18 to his preferred option of 5 for the new season.
Thomas Partey has swapped out his 18 for the 5 shirt for the new season, returning to a favourite number of his that was not available when he first arrived at the club.
Partey wore the number 5 shirt at Atletico Madrid.
Talking about the switch, Thomas said: “I like the No 5 because it’s one of the most important numbers in the team and it is also a lucky number for me. It’s the number I’ve worn for the past few years, so for me it’s one of the best numbers.”
At Arsenal, that was on the back of Sokratis when Partey arrived. Even though the club were trying to get Sokratis out the door on the same day Partey arrived, there was the possibility Partey could have been given the shirt he clearly wanted, but it stayed with Sokratis on the sidelines.
Partey might have asked for the 22, the number he wore at Atletico for three seasons before he went back to the five, but he couldn’t have that one, either, as Pablo Mari was not using it at the time, sidelined with his injury problems.
18 was the first number available at Arsenal and that’s the one Thomas took, but now he has the chance to move to a proper first-team squad number.
Arsenal shirt numbers currently free
Within the first 25 squad numbers, there are currently eight numbers that have no owners, five of them from the first XI.
- Arsenal shirt number 4 is available for one of the 500 midfielders we’re going to buy.
- Arsenal shirt number 5 was available for the centre back we’re going to sign instead of playing William Saliba but now it’s going to a midfielder.
- Arsenal shirt number 8 is available to go to a midfielder we had to get on loan at the last minute.
- Arsenal shirt number 10 is currently available but is almost certainly going to Emile Smith Rowe.
- Arsenal shirt number 11 is available and won’t be going back to Martin Odegaard.
- Arsenal shirt number 15 belonged to Ainsley Maitland-Niles until we sent him on loan. Whether it goes back to him or not remains to be seen.
- Arsenal shirt number 20 was vacated by recently-crowned ‘Relegated Player of the Season’ in the Bundesliga, Shkodran Mustafi, who definitely isn’t coming back.
- Arsenal shirt number 23 will no longer adorn David Luiz’s back for referees to flash a red card at.
In addition to the numbers that are already available, there are a few that could free up if transfers go ahead as rumoured
Arsenal shirt numbers that could become free
- Bernd’s Leno’s 1 could go to Andre Onana if that deal goes ahead and Leno leaves, as it’s rumoured he might.
- It seems inevitable that Hector Bellerin will be leaving Arsenal so his 2 will need a new owner.
- Most are praying the rumours that Willian wants to leave Arsenal are true, so that means 12 will be up for grabs.
- Alex Runarsson’s 13 is another if he is sent on loan.
- Finally, Reiss Nelson’s 24 might be another that sadly becomes available.
Looking at both those lists combined, Arsenal could well see a new name on seven of the first XI squad numbers for the new season.