‘An excellent signing’: John Barnes rates Arsenal transfer deal
John Barnes discusses Arsenal's signing of Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid this summer
John Barnes believes that Arsenal have made an “excellent signing” by agreeing a deal to bring in Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid this summer.
The north London side completed a £45m deal to bring Partey to The Emirates from Atletico Madrid on transfer deadline day earlier this month as Mikel Arteta moved to bolster his midfield options.
Partey, 27, has been settling into life at his new club in recent days and he took part in his first full training session with the Gunners on Thursday.
Former Liverpool FC hero Barnes believes that Arsenal were in dire need of a player to bolster the defensive midfield options, and he reckons that Partey will end up being a great signing for the Gunners.
Speaking in an interview quoted by the Daily Star, Barnes said: “Thomas Partey was necessary for Arsenal, they needed strengthening in defensive midfield, and players who could break the game up whilst leading from the back and turning defence into attack.
“Partey is a decent player on the ball but his true qualities lie in winning the ball back and giving Arsenal that steel in midfield to protect the back four, so he is an excellent signing for them.
“It is important that fans understand that he won’t start spraying long diagonal balls, doing step overs in the opposition half or scoring from long range.
“Arsenal have many players such as Aubameyang and Willian who can do that for them. Partey will be that shield to support the defence and break up the play, which Arsenal have been crying out for a long time.
“He really could be the difference for them this season and I am excited to see how he gets on.”
It remains to be seen whether Partey could make his debut for Arsenal when the Gunners travel to Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday evening.
The Gunners head into the game looking to try and maintain their solid start to the season in which they have only dropped three points – during a 3-1 defeat by defending champions Liverpool FC at Anfield.
Arsenal are aiming to try and challenge for a top-four finish this season after having ended up in eighth place and winning the FA Cup last term under Arteta.