Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson believes Gunners new boy Thomas Partey has already proven himself to be the “number one” signing of the summer in the Premier League.
After months and months of rumours and speculation, Arsenal landed the Ghanaian international’s signature on transfer deadline day in early-October, triggering the £45million release clause in his Atletico Madrid contract.
Though the 27-year-old midfield enforcer has only made four appearances for the Gunners so far, Partey has proven to be everything that Mikel Arteta – the Arsenal boss – could have wished for, with his energy and physical presence in the middle of the park not going unnoticed.
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After helping Arsenal record their first away win over Manchester United in more than 14 years on Sunday, which saw a second half penalty from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang get the job done for the Londoners, Merson has delivered an exciting verdict on Partey’s start to life in north London, insisting that he has got to be the “number one” signing of the summer already.
Merson told Sky Sports: “It was a good away performance, 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, [Scott] McTominay and [Nemanja] Matic, but they haven’t got a Partey.”
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