Paul Merson claims Arsenal made the signing of the summer
Paul Merson was highly impressed by Arsenal's move to sign Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid
Paul Merson believes that Arsenal made the signing of the summer by landing Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid.
The Ghana international signed for the Gunners on transfer deadline day last month as Mikel Arteta moved to add some new steel to his midfield options ahead of his first campaign in charge.
The 27-year-old has been settling in well to life at The Emirates, and he produced a fine performance to help Arsenal claim a 1-0 win over Manchester United in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Merson has been hugely impressed by what he has seen from Partey in an Arsenal shirt so far and he admits that he was somewhat surprised that the Gunners were able to conclude a deal to bring him to the north London club.
Speaking in an interview quoted by Metro, Merson said: “It was a good away performance [at Man United], it wasn’t great, I wouldn’t get carried away and say oh my god it’s a turning point.
“They beat a terribly, terribly poor Manchester United team on the day. They’ve done a job, we’ve seen them lose those games over the last five or six years.
“But I think Partey’s a massive, massive difference. I mean, what a signing.
“When you talk about signings in the summer, he’s got to be number one. I cannot believe, without being horrible here, that Arsenal got him.
“I don’t mean that in a horrible way, they’re all crying out for it – I know Manchester United are top-heavy and they’ve got Fred, McTominay and Matic, but they haven’t got a Partey.
“Manchester City too, Fernandinho’s coming towards the end, Rodri hasn’t really pulled up any trees. You’re thinking wow, who didn’t see this?
“When you’re talking about holding midfield players and you want discipline, there’s no better place for discipline than Atletico Madrid. They play the ultimate disciplined way. They can go away and shut up shop, then other days they can go and attack teams. He’s a massive part of that.
“Fair play to Arsenal, now you’ve got to hope they go and kick on. They’ve been unlucky, they probably shouldn’t have got beaten by Leicester, at Manchester City they needed to score when they had a couple of chances, so for me they’re not a million miles away from a very open league but they’ve got to kick on.
“There’s no point getting beaten by Aston Villa next week now. You’ve got to go back to back.
“I said the other day, can I see Arsenal winning seven or eight on the trot? No, I can’t. But they need to start putting four and five wins together and if they can do that, who knows.”
Partey will be hoping to feature for Arsenal when the Gunners return to Premier League action on Sunday evening with a home clash against Aston Villa.
Before that, they will take on Molde in their next Europa League group game on Thursday night.
Arsenal are currently in ninth place in the Premier League table after taking 12 points from their opening seven games in the top flight.