Thomas Partey believes he can build an excellent midfield relationship alongside Granit Xhaka at Arsenal and spoke glowingly about the Swiss star during transfer talks, according to reports.
The Gunners pulled off a remarkable deadline-day swoop for Partey, activating his £45million release clause and quickly hammering out the deal before the window closed on Monday.
Partey has shone for Atletico Madrid in recent seasons – and was particularly outstanding against Liverpool in the Champions League – and Arsenal believe they have landed a genuine world-class talent.
Although technical director Edu has been praised for his role in completing the deal, Arsenal actually first registered an interest in Partey several years ago when head of international scouting Francis Cagigao was still at the club.
According to The Athletic, it was the now axed scouting supremo who led the pursuit of Partey and actually spoke to him at length over lunch.
They discussed his style of play and preferred position, with Partey ‘talking admiringly’ about Xhaka and outlining his belief that they could form a strong midfield partnership for Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta could therefore slot Partey straight into his current side, with Mohamed Elneny the man losing out, though it has been suggested that the Spanish coach will now alter his midfield following the arrival of the Ghanaian.
The back three formation – which only accommodates two central midfielders – has been used more out of necessity and Arteta is keen to switch to a 4-3-3 formation, with Partey and Xhaka likely accompanied by Dani Ceballos in a new-look approach.
Partey completed his medical and signed his contract with Arsenal in Madrid before flying off straight away on international duty with Ghana, with the midfielder set to link up with his new teammates for the first time next week.