Arsenal wanted Partey even when Emery was their manager

The Guardian has revealed that Arsenal has long wanted to sign Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid.

The Gunners have just completed the signing of the Ghanaian midfield anchor, but he could have joined them in the summer of 2019.

The report claims that Arsenal had been scouting him for some time and he was one of the players that Unai Emery wanted to sign.

The Spanish manager even went to watch him in one of his games and the plan was to land him in the 2019 summer transfer window.

However, money was tight and the former Arsenal boss had to prioritise signing a winger.

Arsenal would then splash the cash on Lille’s Nicolas Pepe and they ended their pursuit of the midfielder that summer.

Partey remained with Atletico and he got even better as a player, prompting the Gunners to move for him on Monday.

He will join the club as one of the best box-to-box players in Europe and Arsenal will hope that he can help them make a return to the Champions League at the end of this season.

Tags Thomas Partey


  1. The list could go on about the players emery wanted but the board for some reason went against all of that. Could have been part of the reason why his second season for Arsenal was shambolic. E.g he wanted Zaha, they got pepe. Wanted soyuncu, they got sokratis and so on and so forth.

      1. Dan, can you name any players who have refused to go to a club, because Emery was the manager? Emery asked for these players and was not supported by the Board and senior executive.
        Neymar was an issue at PSG, but he was there when Emery arrived and Emery was not the only manager, who has had problems with Neymar.
        Arsenal and Chelsea are the only clubs I have seen, where players have downed tools on their manager/head coach.

  2. Its quite common practice for clubs to monitor players they like for quite sometime, to see their progress and form over an extended period of time.

    With the signings Emery got vs what he wanted you have to take into account club finances, deal structures, price vs age and other factors.

    Emery may well have wanted Zaha and Partey last season but, as we all know we had something of around 30-45m to spend last summer.

    Palace wanted between 50-70m for Zaha and wanted most of the money upfront, which we just couldnt do.

    Pepe cost 72m, but that deal was structured over instalments of around 15m per year, was 4 years younger and everything else was better except his premier league experience which he had none.

    It seemed good business at the time, getting a very high performer from Ligue un on a structured deal helped put our limited funds to good use elsewhere, like brining in KT from celtic.

    TBH, I still think its good business, Pepe still has alot of room for improvement and hopefully now that there is alot of competition for place in the first 11, he picks up and kicks on.

    Also the thing fans forget is we may have signed Saliba last season but we paid for him this summer, we also had the 15m instalment for Pepe and whatever we paid for Mari ( probably just short of 10m ) and the singing on fees for Soares and Willian, we probably spent close to 100m this summer, so with that, the club has done fantastic this window

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