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It would have been a long and stressful night at Arsenal’s offices but all the hard work eventually paid off as the club got a deal over the line for Thomas Partey in the final few hours of the summer transfer window.
Arsenal’s hopes of signing Partey appeared dead in the water but the north London outfit stepped up their interest once early on Monday and triggered the midfielder’s £45million release clause to prise him away from Atletico Madrid.
The Ghana international put pen to paper on a four-year deal at the Emirates and will be on wages of £250,000-a-week, making him the Gunners’ third-highest paid player behind Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Arsenal have reportedly angered Atleti with the lack of notice they gave before activating Partey’s buyout clause – but that will be of little concern to Mikel Arteta right now, who has undoubtedly landed one of the top defensive midfielders in European football.
The relief and happiness was clear to see in a picture shared by Arsenal technical director Edu of ‘the team that many people don’t see’ after an agreement was successfully negotiated for Partey in the final few hours of deadline day.
‘Sometimes we get things wrong and sometimes we get it right, as part of our life, but when you work with dedication and love things happen. Let’s continue…’
Edu posted on Instagram after Partey’s arrival was announced. The photograph, which included chief executive Vinai Venkatesham and head coach Arteta, hinted that a fair amount of pizza and coffee had been consumed across a tense day.
Arteta showered Partey with praise after his move to Arsenal was made official said he was ‘delighted’ to have a player with such ‘quality’ and ‘intelligence’ on board.
‘We have been watching Thomas for a while, so we’re now delighted to add such a high quality player to our squad,’ the Spaniard told the club’s website.
‘He is a dynamic midfielder with great energy. He brings a lot of experience from a top club that has competed at the highest level in La Liga and the Champions League for several years.
‘We’re very impressed with his attitude and his approach to the game.
‘He’s an intelligent footballer and we’re looking forward to him integrating into our system and contributing to the progress we’re building at the moment at the club.’
Partey is expected to take over the No.18 shirt in north London, which was last worn by Nacho Monreal.