Saturday, June 22, 2024

Smith Rowe and Partey join Arsenal’s US tour

According to The Athletic, Thomas Partey and Emile Smith Rowe have arrived in Washington, D.C. to join Arsenal’s tour of the USA.

While the duo won’t be part of the squad to face the MLS All-Stars tonight, they should be available for the other fixtures against Manchester United and Barcelona on the 22nd and 26th July respectively.

The club confirmed the duo would be late arrivals when the 27-man squad departed London Stansted on Sunday.

Having endured a frustrating domestic campaign with Arsenal, Smith Rowe has had a busy summer so far, featuring in six matches for England under-21s as they won the Under-21 European Championships. He has cut short his holiday so as to strengthen his chances of impressing Mikel Arteta during pre-season.

There was speculation towards the end of last season that Edu could put the number 10 up for sale but Arteta and the player were quick to communicate otherwise.

“Arsenal are my club and I’m not going to give up until [the manager] says he doesn’t want me,” Smith Rowe told The Times.

“But that’s not the case. He wants me as part of the team and I want to fight for my place and get back in the team.”

There have also been rumours that Arsenal are willing to part ways with Partey this summer.

Clubs in Saudi Arabia and Italian giants Juventus have both been sniffing around but it’s said the Gunners will only do a deal if a suitably high offer is made.

Southampton’s Romeo Lavia has been identified as a possible replacement although links have gone a little quiet in the last couple of weeks. Liverpool are also said to like the 19-year-old midfielder.

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Johnny 4 Hats

No idea what is going to happen with TP this summer. But a rotating Rice – Havertz – Partey for the two deeper lying CM positions has me salivating. And the minutes Havertz takes away from Partey (if Arteta feels Rice and Partey can play together) will manage his physical issues so much better. I feel like Partey and Rice could both play as an 8 if needed and a double pivot is obviously an option for Liverpool, City away etc. But my gut tells me Partey is leaving. And if that’s the case, we better have someone damn good… Read more »

Cannon and ball and arsen’all

No disrespect but that’s way off. There will only be one no.6 (rice) and an inverted fullback to support (zinny//white/timber). There won’t be two deeper lying mids – so we’ll only need cover for rice and the fullbacks. Havertz won’t be taking minutes from rice or whoever is rotating with rice

Johnny 4 Hats

Ok, you might be right and Havertz will effectively be a left sided Odegaard. I personally think the 8 will lie deeper, so able to still support the 6. And I think that’s a role that either Partey or Rice will be considered for in certain games.

But that’s what’s exciting. There’s so much we are yet to understand about the way we will set up next season. Well, apart from you who knows exactly the inner workings of Arteta’s mind (Johnny lightly joshed).

Cannon and ball and arsen’all

I’d be amazed if we see anything other than a six with two no.10s at 8 – that said what goes on beneath the Lego stays beneath the Lego.

Alberto Balsam Mendez Rodriguez

Yeah, I get the feeling that Arteta sees Havertz as somewhere between Xhaka and Ødegaard.

Cannon and ball and arsen’all

Once you have the base you can build – TP is an outstanding DCM but Rice provides us with a new level – this allows us to play an odegaard type player on the left as well as the right

El forbes

This is also way off. Partey and Jorginho will share the 6.
Rice has been bought for the left 8 position. Mark my words.

Cannon and ball and arsen’all



It may depend on the game though. Could see us going 4-3-3 for most games, with a Havertz-Rice-Odegaard midfield. But against the top teams, the ones that will really come after us and put us under pressure, Arteta could change it. Maybe play two 6s, who knows?


Why has no one thought of Timber playing in midfield? His close control and ability to get out of congested areas as well as moving the ball forward and progressive style of play play could make him a great TP replacement. With Rice there too to add support and Ben White playing the way he usually would.


It’s certainly possible, but I don’t know when/why we would do it given we have Jorginho, who could easily slot in next to Rice if the occasion demands it.

I miss santi cazorla

Sign Lavia and sell Holding Cedric and Tierrany.

I miss santi too

Sell all that should be sold. I would keep Tierney


I see no good reason to sell Tierney unless we sign a left back.


Kiwior has been training there and has played there previously. Not sure yet if he has the required footspeed and dribbling to make overlapping runs but he does have the passing and technique to play the inverted fullback role that Zinchenko does so well and Tierney, well, doesn’t really. So if Arteta thinks Kiwior can fulfil the more traditional leftback role when called upon, we can sell Tierney and feel good about it. Don’t forget Tomi can play there too

Cannon and ball and arsen’all

I suspect Kiwior is to Gabriel/Zinchenko as Timber is to Saliba/White – CB’s who are adept at playing central or wide and are very comfortable on the ball so can cover the CBs or inverted fullbacks


Tomiyasu can do all those jobs, as well. With Timber’s arrival, we have two players for each position, and more. At least two of Tierney, Holding, and Cedric are surplus, and we might be without all three by the time the summer transfer window closes.


He didnt say Tierney, he said Tierrany. He works in IT support and is useless. I agree he needs to go. Tierney on the other hand is tidy and can stay imo.


Why sell Tierney? He’s an excellent left back and offers an alternative to Zinchenko.

Cannon and ball and arsen’all

There is no situation that we require Lavia unless TP5 departs. Personally I’d say keep TP5 – we could maybe sell him for £30m this summer whilst his value is questionable – but assuming he’s available to play then his value far exceeds what we can sell him for right now, and i’d rather he goes for free in 2 years than take his current (impacted) market value as I think he is worth way more than any long term replacement can add right now


Yep! A fit TP5 is waaay better than any replacement we can possibly find atm. Also, Rice is at The Arsenal now not West Ham; I have been a fan for long enough NEVER to take the fitness and/or availability of an Arsenal midfielder as a given. Now excuse me while I go to fast and pray.


I posted similar thoughts in my own words because I couldn’t give this reply a thousand thumbs up in agreement. I’d be so fretful over Rice’s fitness if we sold Partey.


Sell Cedric to who exactly? Best case scenario is mutually agreement with Cedric to terminate his contract – we won’t receive a penny for him. Selling Tierney or Holding makes no sense without replacing them. We fell away at the end of the last two seasons on account of injuries exposing a lack of depth. We have the right number of bodies in defence as it stands now.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

We’ve already replaced Holding, and Kiwior is now ahead of him


Sell (or make it for free as long as his wages can be off the book) and keep Tierney and Holding!

I miss santi cazorla

We should not have any weak links in the squad
Last year the weak links were a backup striker( nketiah) and 4th choice center back (holding). We lost point when these weaknesses were exposed. For example points lost against everton away and brentford were down to Nketiah in the center (poor link up play with the wingers and missed a couple of chances himself)….and we know the dropoff between Saliba and Holding.
Take out all the weak links NOW otherwise this season could end up just like the last one

Cranky Colin

Fucks sake…… Not having a good day mate?


He seems angry 😀
But that’s not how squad building works. Weak links can sometimes not be sold or replaced. Remember Xhaka? Sometimes you just have to find the right way to use them.

Norwegian Wood

He misses Santi 😪

Only one Dennis Bergkamp

Who doesn’t?


Ever heard of turning weaknesses into strengths, Santi?


I personally have a lot of love for Roberto Holdini so I’ll admit there’s some bias here but, by your own admission, he’s our 4th choice CB… or do you think our entire squad should be world class 😕

Heavenly Chapecoense

Who do you miss? Santi Cazorla or Fatgooner?

Cannon and ball and arsen’all

*I miss Santori


I miss Rambling Pete

Bossman Bill

Ahh I miss that guy too. Many a time I would get genuinely annoyed by his posts, but just as it was ending up that he was right about Xhaka all along, he stopped posting!

Santori wherever you are brother, I hope you are well sir!


Losing both Xhaka & Partey (two most senior first XI members) could disrupt our continuity so I guess Partey (likely) staying is a good sign.

Will be interesting to see how we shape up with both Rice & Partey in the squad. We all like shiny new toys but remember a fit & in form Partey is still a hell of a player!


I mean if Partey is your backup DM you’re doing really well, to have someone like that as 2nd choice in that position is the kind of luxury I don’t remember us ever having, would be so nice if that ends up being the case this season…


Picture or it didn’t happen

Mayor McCheese

Midjourney is considering your request!

Cannon and ball and arsen’all

I’m gonna hang my hat out and say I think ESR is first choice as left no.8 next season and it’s his position to lose

A Different George

I don’t think you spend that kind of money on Havertz without intending him to start your most important matches and being confident (perhaps mistakenly) that he can play that role.

Cannon and ball and arsen’all

I’d look at it a different way – we saw in the Amazon doc that ESR is incredibly humble – and rumours he’s not been played post fitness due to being retrained as an 8… It’s pretty common knowledge that his talent is elite potential – so what better motivation they giving him the nod ahead of a big money signing (who equally has no claim on that spot so can’t complain)

Cannon and ball and arsen’all

I’ve just got a feeling on this one – you don’t give ESR the no.10 shirt without having a serious level of faith – and as a team that’s looking to deploy 2x no.10s I’d bet ESR is at the forefront of plans

Mayor McCheese

I like your hot take! But I’m with different george on this. It’s really hard to imagine Arteta and Edu going the distance of £65m quid on a second-choice left 8. But, who knows? Arteta has a habit of surprising us!

Cannon and ball and arsen’all

I’m all about the hot take! I’ll ask you this – do you think ESR is less of a player than KH? And if not why would MA put KH ahead of ESR? Did MA put Pepe in the team just because he cost £72m more than Saka?

Mayor McCheese

Oh, questions! Do I think KH is better than ESR? When KH was at Leverkusen, people were talking about him as one of, if not THE best young midfielder/s in Europe. But he lost his way a bit at Chelsea because he was played out of position, mostly. Arteta clearly believes he can get Havertz to fulfill his earlier promise by putting him back into a midfield. Whether that happens, and whether it turns out that Havertz is indeed a better midfielder than Smith Rowe, remains to be seen. However, I see the price we were willing to pay for… Read more »

Cannon and ball and arsen’all

I am as big a fan of Havertz as you will find – I have been watching the Bundesliga and Ligue 1 for many years (never got into Italian or Spanish leagues for some reason). I believe Havertz will prove all doubters wrong and thrive for us – but I still think he’s going to have to earn his place over ESR. It’s an exciting prospect either way 🍆


NO ONE is first choice anymore. The team has evolved into a squad of players able to replace each other without dropping the quality. So don’t say 1st choice or 1st 11 anymore


Well said. A lot of guys STILL with their Europa heads on.

(1to11 and if you’re on the bench it’s somehow career over)

I don’t quite know – especially after what played out last season – what more some people need to drill the reality into their heads that we are now at a different level and playing a squad game.

“If you play X where is Y going to fit in?” 😂


Very interesting that Partey has joined the tour. WE MUST KEEP HIM AT THE CLUB!

He was excellent over the first half of last season. With rotation and rest he could be crucial for us next season.

Cannon and ball and arsen’all

100%. Even if there’s a roll of the dice involved I’d still take it


If we don’t receive any offer above 40mil, we should keep him. It’ll be worth it.


I agree with everything you wrote. The end must be nigh. Are cats and dogs living together?


I fear for Emile Smith Rowe. Two seasons ago he took a back seat to nobody on that squad, and now I just don’t see a place for him. If he doesn’t get significant minutes this season he will lose value, bad for him and bad for us. If he’s not going to see much action, I hope he is loaned out or sold so at least Arsenal get value from him.

But if Cannon and ball is right and I’m wrong, I’ll be thrilled.


Going by the trend, we’re targeting 2 quality players for each position to manage the numerous amount of games. Counting that, we have ESR/KH/MO/FV for 2 8’s. I don’t see any problem with that.


Hope Partey stays. It will be a grave, grave mistake to sell him!


I’m coming round to Partey staying, though I still don’t think it’s a disaster if he goes and we replace him with someone younger and fitter. We do still have Jorginho and Elneny with experience in that position, and obv Rice has a lot of experience too despite his age. Saying that, a Rice-Partey double pivot against the top sides is a mouthwatering prospect.


Age and fitness seem the only reasons to let him go. Hopefully he will fare better if he has to play less.


Perhaps, though there are two things to consider. The first is that his wages aren’t commensurate with someone that’s a squad player. The second is that we don’t yet know what Partey thinks of all this himself. Does he want to be a squad player whose place in the squad has clearly been usurped? Or does he still believe he has more to offer as a first team player elsewhere?


Unless you guarantee the signing of Caicedo, then it’s imperative that we keep Partey for at least another season. Anything else is really a downgrade, which is not what the idea is. I’d be happy to have Partey to play back up to Rice; Partey’s age and injury record mean that whilst he might not have enough in the tank to go a full season, he is certainly quality depth to have on the bench. One more season? I’d be happy with that. As for ESR, I think he is going to smash the shit out of the Premiership this… Read more »


Watching ESR in the U-21 final; I thought he was floating – not really involved at all. Seemed to me he was kind of being avoided by his teammates. Never really received decent passes; or made many. Shame. He is/was really good before the surgery.


U-21 are a bit of selfish kids. They were all probably jealous. Don’t mind them. ESR was fantastic before that. He’ll have to work on himself off ball and consistency and he’ll give KH and Mikel a lot of good troubles

Heavenly Chapecoense

I share your analysis, it is Qwaliteee.


I just watched the 2nd half of Arsenal vs MLS All Stars. The only thing we need right now is someone who can give Saka a break. Viera and Marquintos played there in the 2nd half and they are not there. Maybe Marquintos but not Viera. Troissand and ERS can be back up for the left side of our attack with Martinelli and Harvertz are the starters. But on the right side, we only have Odegaard and Saka. Balogun is better than Nkieta.


Look one more time at the Data Viz for Rice on this site and ignore the red circles. Partey is as good or better than Rice in each metric besides interceptions. Rice is the best English midfielder in the league, but TP (and Rodri) is better! Older, yes, not as “valuable” on the books or per, as if that matters, but overall better right now. If the knock on Partey is that he’s not always fit (see what I did?), and we often press him into service when not fully fit, then why in the world would Arsenal sell… Read more »

Osofuye Odunayo Damilola

GK – Ramsdale, Turner, Hein
CB – Saliba, Mangalese, Trusty
SB – White, Timbre, Kiwior, Tomiyasu
DM – Partey, Rice
AM – Odegaard, Emile, Trossard, Vieira, Havertz
WF – Saka, Martinelli, Nelson, Marquinhos
CF – Jesus, Eddie, Flo

Let go of: Elneny, Jorginho, Cedric, Pepe, Tavares, Lokonga, Holding

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