Arsenal expert on midfielder’s future

Arsenal could be ready to consider selling midfielder Thomas Partey this summer, but only for the right price as there seems little desire to push him out of the exit door.

The Ghana international returned to Mikel Arteta’s starting line up for yesterday’s 5-0 win over Chelsea, and it certainly showed how much he’s been missed this season after an injury-hit campaign.

Still, speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside for his latest Daily Briefing column, journalist Charles Watts explained that his age and injury history have been factors the club have considered when assessing his future.

Watts says Arsenal considered selling Partey last summer, but, like this year, they were never particularly desperate to get the player off their books, so it will be down to any interested clubs to make a suitable offer for the 30-year-old.

Partey transfer: Should Arsenal let experienced midfield man leave?

Thomas Partey of Arsenal

Watts was impressed with what he saw from Partey in the win over Chelsea, as he praised the way his presence can get the best out of Declan Rice and Martin Odegaard, so this perhaps looks like an argument for keeping the player for another year, even if it then means losing him on a free at the end of his contract.

“Thomas Partey’s future is certainly going to be one of the big talking points of the summer. Last summer Arsenal were open to selling Thomas, but no tempting offers came in. They weren’t pushing him out of the door or anything, but given his age, his poor injury record and the fact he was one of the club’s biggest earners and was into the final two years of his deal, they would have cashed in if a good enough bid arrived,” Watts said.

“In the end, that didn’t happen, so they were happy to keep him around and I think this summer will be exactly the same situation. He will have one year left on his contract and so should a good bid come in, they would consider it. But I don’t think they will actively be trying to force him out.

“He’s not played that much since returning to fitness, but he showed against Chelsea on Wednesday night how good a player he still is when fit. So it might be they just decide to keep him around for the final year of his contract before allowing him to leave on a free. Juventus have been consistently linked, but I’ve never had it confirmed that those links are genuine. There was certainly interest from Saudi last summer, but Partey wasn’t overly keen on that. He really wanted to stay at Arsenal.”

He added: “Having Thomas Partey back in midfield was huge and it really gave Odegaard and Rice the freedom to express themselves going forward. It’s such a shame that we’ve had to wait until late April to see that midfield trio play together in the Premier League. Had Partey been fit and available all season, I really think the title would have been Arsenal’s by now.”

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