Arsenal Given Go-Ahead to Sign Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar

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Arsenal hero Kevin Campbell believes Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar would both be quality additions to Mikel Arteta’s side.

The Spanish boss is in search of midfield reinforcements, with the Gunners fairly lightweight in the middle of the park.

Atletico Madrid’s Partey has been a long-term target for the north London club, and although he is reportedly keen on a move to the Emirates, his £45 million release clause remains a sticking point.

Arsenal are likely to have to sell players in order to raise funds, and their only departure so far this summer has been Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s exit to Roma after his contract was terminated.

Campbell is a big fan of Partey and sees the combative midfielder as an essential signing for the Gunners. ‘Thomas Partey is the most important signing for Arsenal,’ Campbell said.

‘A player like Thomas Partey stops things getting to the back four – he is that screen that sits there, like [Patrick] Vieira and Gilberto were – someone who protects the back four so they don’t even need to break a sweat.

‘They haven’t had that kind of player since Gilberto, who was such an unsung hero. That type of player, Arsenal have missed.

‘I believe that getting Thomas Partey is the priority and I think that they will get the business done in the end but I’m sure they have to get a couple of bodies out of the club before they bring him in.’

The Gunners have also been linked to Lyon’s Aouar, who is reportedly adamant that he wants to move away from the French club this summer. Similarly to Partey, finances remain the issue, with the Ligue 1 outfit demanding £55m for the highly-rated 22-year-old.

Campbell believes Aouar is the type of player his former side should be aiming for and backs a potential move to bring him to north London. ‘Houssem Aouar is a creative player who would be an excellent addition to the squad,’ Campbell added.

‘This is why I think this is the most important transfer period for Arsenal in probably a decade because there’s a lot of things that Arsenal need to address if they are going to push on – and players aren’t going to get cheaper the further you go.

‘As you start to challenge, players will get more expensive so if you can do the business now, you have to get them now.

‘This is what Mikel Arteta and Edu are doing. Aouar is a very good, creative player. He got to the Champions League semi-final with Lyon and looks a real star. I can 100 per cent see him playing at Arsenal and it would be really good business if they can get him.’

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