After what seemed to be almost the entire summer transfer window spent tracking Thomas Partey, Arsenal finally got their man on deadline day.
The Ghanaian has moved from Atletico Madrid after the north Londoners finally agreed to pay his buyout clause of £45m, meaning that they didn’t have to negotiate the sale with the Rojiblancos and could go straight to the player and his representatives.
It’s clearly a move the midfielder wanted to make given the speed of the deal when it needed to be concluded.
The feeling appears to be mutual too. Mikel Arteta seemed very happy indeed when telling Arsenal.com just what it was that Partey would bring to the party.
“We identified him a few months ago and we have been following his progress, and obviously the more you know about the squad, you know more about where you think you can improve it,” the Spaniard said.
“We believe he has the right qualities, with his character and his personality and as well with his technical qualities and positional options that he can give to the team.
“I think he allows us to play different formations and he can fit in within those formations in different positions, which is a really good thing to have in a squad where, in midfield, I think we were a little bit short.
“I have a few things in mind that I want to start to train with the team and [Partey’s signing] is going to give us a little bit more adaptability and more balance in defending and attacking transitions and the way we have to set up certain structures to attack better in certain moments of the game.”
The Gunners have certainly missed having a player like Partey around.
Not since Patrick Vieira was in his pomp alongside Manu Petit have Arsenal had someone who can break up play in the manner Partey can.
His defensive and attacking attributes are many, and if he can reproduce the form he’s shown in La Liga for years now, Arsenal will have bagged themselves a bargain.