Mikel Arteta says Thomas Partey’s “adaptability” was a key reason why he and Edu made the Ghanaian a transfer window priority.
The 27-year-old joined Arsenal from Atletico Madrid on deadline day after the Gunners triggered his €50 million release clause and he’ll join up with his new teammates at London Colney after the international break.
While his side has made a solid start to the new campaign, Arteta is aware that there are big improvements still to be made both in attack and defence. Partey’s presence should give him the opportunity to experiment although he wouldn’t be drawn on exactly how he’ll deploy the new boy.
In an interview with Arsenal Digital, Arteta said: “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.
“We believe he has the right qualities, both with his character and his personality and as well with his technical qualities and positional options that he can give to the team.
He added: “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.”
Despite a stale market that made it hard to offload players, Arteta admits the way the Gunners traversed the transfer window was to his liking.
“I am very pleased,” he said. “I think we did quite a lot of the things we wanted to do. I felt that we had the right people doing the process.
“I think that the plan that we put together, with all concerned and everybody trying to get the deals done whether they were in or outs…it was hectic, it was to the last minute but to be fair it’s been a really challenging market.”