Transfer sagas are as much part of the British summer as disappointing weather, and Arsenal are far from the only club who have been embroiled in one in 2020.
Liverpool got over the line in their pursuit of Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich, while Manchester United appear to have made little progress in their planned purchase of Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.
These long-running stories can easily go either way, with all big-money transfers incredibly complex to negotiate.
For Arsenal, Thomas Partey of Atletico Madrid has been on their radar for several months, as Mikel Arteta looks to improve his midfield options for the gruelling 2020/21 season.
The latest news is that Atleti are looking to take Lucas Torreira on loan as part of the deal, but the Gunners would rather sell the Uruguayan – possibly to Torino – to help fund their transfer spending.
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With less than two weeks of the transfer window remaining, it’s a distinct possibility that Arsenal won’t be able to complete the signing. No Partey, no party.
One possible alternate option could be Idrissa Gueye, the former Aston Villa and Everton defensive midfielder. His current team, Paris Saint-Germain, are reportedly looking to raise some funds and would be willing to let him leave, with Atltioc Madrid reportedly keen on signing him as a potential replacement for Partey.
But what if Arsenal moved on from Partey and went for Gueye instead?
The website smarterscout builds profiles of players based on their performance statistics, and from these they are able to establish who is similar to any particular footballer in their database.
Looking at Partey’s La Liga numbers from last season, their top suggestion for a match from one of Europe’s big five leagues is Milan Badelj. However, the Croatian has only just signed for Genoa so wouldn’t be available for a move.