The Gunners are looking for ways to improve their squad and return to Champions League football next season, but they’ve just hit another road block.
The latest attempt to bolster Arsenal’s ranks has come in the form of a purchase of Thomas Partey from La Liga side Atlético Madrid, but according to reporter Fabrizio Romano, the Gunners have simply not offered enough to land the 27-year-old midfielder.
Thomas Partey update.
Arsenal at the moment are still offering €25M + one player.
Atlético are NOT going to sell Thomas for less than €50M (release clause).
…but Arsenal today told to Atléti they don’t want to pay the whole clause.
No agreement 🔴 #AFC #Arsenal @MatteMoretto
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 27, 2020
For seemingly ever, Arsenal has been interested in Partey, who has become a familiar name in the Rojoblancos’ team, with the Ghanaian’s latest campaign finishing with 29 starts and three goals, as well as four Man of the Match honors from Whoscored.com.
Partey’s Fit in the Gunners’ Squad
Arsenal has a few different defensive-minded midfielders with the likes of Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka and even Dani Ceballos depending on where the Gunners need to fit the Spainard.
However, Partey would be a significant upgrade and a fit in the team that would have the industrial work ethic required to keep up with Premier League attackers, but his goal-scoring capabilities are also worth noting.
In his past three La Liga campaigns, the midfielder has scored three goals each season, not astronomical by any means, but certainly consistent and and more than anyone in the current Arsenal squad can boast.
Torreira was considered to be defensive-minded by both former Gunners manager Unai Emery and then lost his starting position to Ceballos under current boss Mikel Arteta before fracturing his ankle in the back-half of the season.
Ceballos was scoring goals at a higher rate than Partey in La Liga, but hasn’t found his scoring touch in the Premier League, ending the season with 24 total appearances, zero goals and two assists.
Ceballos’ intelligent creativity is his biggest strength, but Partey also possesses a knack for picking out the right pass or getting himself in a positive position to score. Arsenal may attempt to land both, but Partey seems like a much more known product than Ceballos, despite the former not playing in England.
Other Option Outside of Partey
If Arsenal decide that Partey’s asking price is simply too much, they’ll obviously be looking to bring Ceballos back or potentially look into an addition from somewhere else.
According to the Sun, one place Arsenal has started looking is in Austria, more specifically, Red Bull Salzburg’s Dominik Szoboszlai.
In his breakout season for Salzburg, Szoboszlai scored 10 goals and added 16 assists in 37 league appearances.
However, the report also says that the Gunners are not alone in their interest for the 19-year-old midfielder, as Chelsea is also looking into a transfer for the Hungarian starlet.
It certainly wouldn’t be a similar deal to Partey, but it does fit Arsenal’s transfer policy to a tee: sign young, promising players. Szoboszlai is an unknown product as a teenage standout in Austria, but would likely be available for a much better price, and could be brought up through Arteta’s system rather than trying to fit an established veteran like Partey into the squad.
Evan Reier is a sportswriter covering a variety of sports for Heavy.com and local sports for the Montana Standard in Butte, Mont. Reach out to him on Twitter at @evanreier and join our 49ers community at Heavy on 49ers on Facebook.