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Former Arsenal midfielder labels £45m deal for Thomas Partey a “steal”

Thomas Partey
(Image credit: PA)

Paul Merson has praised the impact Thomas Partey has made in the first few weeks of his Arsenal career.

The Gunners signed the Ghana international from Atletico Madrid on transfer deadline day last month, triggering his £45m buyout clause.

Partey made his debut in the 1-0 defeat by Manchester City, and has since turned out against Rapid Vienna, Leicester and Manchester United.

He was particularly impressive in the 1-0 triumph at Old Trafford last weekend, starring alongside Mohamed Elneny in the centre of the park.

And Merson believes Partey would not look out of place in any other Premier League midfield.

“They’ve got that player now. Before you looked and you thought ‘not good enough in midfield’,” he told Sky Sports.

“You’ve got [Granit] Xhaka and whoever it might be playing with him. They haven’t got that pass, and they play deep, and it’s just workmanlike.

“I can’t speak highly enough of him. When they said Partey looks like he’s going to Arsenal for £45m, I thought ‘am I missing a trick here?’

“He could play for anyone, I look at Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool.

“I can't speak highly enough of him, it's an absolute steal for Arsenal.

“It's a shame that [Mesut] Ozil can't play because I think he opens up the space for Ozil.”

Arsenal have won four and lost three of their opening seven fixtures in the Premier League this term.

Mikel Arteta’s side go into Sunday’s game against Aston Villa in 10th place, although victory at the Emirates Stadium could see them climb into the top five.

No team in the division has conceded fewer goals than Arsenal so far, with the Gunners’ backline having been breached on just seven occasions.

Scoring goals has been a little more problematic, though, with Arsenal having found the net only nine times to date.

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