Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson cannot understand why neither Manchester City nor Manchester United competed with Arsenal for the signing of Atletico Madrid‘s Thomas Partey.
The Gunners’ triggered the Ghanaian’s £45m release clause just before the transfer window closed last week, and Merson feels he will be an excellent recruit for the London club:
“I like where Arsenal are going on the pitch. Mikel Arteta is doing really well. And Partey is an unbelievable signing. I don’t know why Manchester United or even Manchester City didn’t go for him. He’s better than what they’ve got.”
While Partey may well be an excellent player, you can’t really see where he would have fitted into manager Pep Guardiola’s first-team plans. Although City have begun to play with two holding midfielders recently, it isn’t something they usually employ.
With that being the case, City are already well catered for in that area with Rodri and Fernandinho. The latter may well be leaving at the end of his contract next summer and it seems as though the Citizens have other ideas about who will be his replacement.
It will be interesting to see, though, whether Partey will be a success in the Premier League and whether he can have a significant impact on Arsenal’s fortunes.