Can Arsenal really afford to lose the experience of Xhaka and Partey?

This summer, Arsenal requires some big signings as Mikel Arteta looks to improve the squad’s depth and finally guide Arsenal to EPL glory. The Spaniard has done a great job at the Emirates these last few seasons, and it now seems it is time his project starts bearing fruit.

Last season, he nearly guided them to lift the English Premier League title, albeit with the youngest squad in the league. The Gunners were impressive to watch, playing some of the beautiful football that Gooners used to love the club for.

They showed they were back to their best last season. They looked more competitive than ever, and the belief was that they could only get better.

Next season, we could see them build on the foundations they laid last season, but to do so, Arteta has the challenging task of injecting experience into his squad. He needs to identify not only quality players who can add quality to his team, but these players also need to have experience. Why experience?

Last season, inexperience cost the Gunners the league title; Manchester City’s experience saw them know what to do in the league, winning it from a position of not being favourites. With Xhaka and probably Partey leaving, Arteta will also lose two of his most experienced players. And that’s not all; Arsenal will be competing on multiple fronts, so having experience could be essential to Arteta’s young squad’s ability to guide each other.

It is brilliant to see quality and experienced players like Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, and Joao Cancelo being linked. While Cancelo and Havertz have amassed much experience playing in the PL and the Champions League, Rice’s experience in the PL is unquestioned. If these three join, plus one or two more signings, Arteta’s squad will be buzzing with experienced stars who can take his young team to the next level.

But can those be enough to cover the leadership of Xhaka and Partey?

Daniel O

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Tags experience Partey Xhaka


  1. There is no such thing as eternal youth and I never cease to be amazed at how a player’s stamina etc can suffer so rapidly from one season to the next. Auba went off the boil and I believe it was acknowledged that Ozil didn’t have the legs either.

    Arteta cannot afford to stand still so at some point Xhaka and Partey will move on and if MA thinks the time is right now then he’ll have to stand by his decisions. It may be a case of whether two established Arsenal players are allowed go at once even if new experienced players come in

    1. Perhaps the daily training and regular playing takes on their toll. It might be just me but I notice footballers age rapidly after their mid 30s and after retirement compared to regular people.

      1. HH So you “notice that players after their mid thirties and subsequent retirement age more quickly than regular people?” REALLY?

        Care to give a decent sized number of examples to us then?

        I ll give YOU these examples of why I THINK PRECISELY THE OPPOSITE IS NEARER THE NORM!
        These, aged over 60,Souness Lineker Shearer, Hansen.
        Also Wright, JRedknapp, Guardiola, Arteta, Wenger(aged73) Adams, Alan Smith and many, many others too
        I suggest you are talking about the far rarer exceptions , such as Ruddock and Merson but far fewer of them.
        I do think that around thirty years ago, when almost ALL players routinely drank and many of them far excessively, and then often chose to run pubs, your comments were, WAY BACK THEN, nearer the truth.

        But you are now years out of date , speaking GENERALLY.

        So I agree with you that “it is just you”!

        1. Furthert to the above, I give Arsene Wenger more credit for accellerating this welcome change in older players health- as well as his current players at that tine – by his antipathy to drinking and his(then) innovative fitness methods , stretching etc.

          Aged virtually 72 right now, I remain extremely fit, lean and supple, as for decades past, I have used daily stretching and toning exercises, despite playing only amateur level sport.
          I know from personal experience how important not drinking , nor ever smoking is

          And this is now widely done by many folk from all walks of life, notably MANY ex players themselves.

  2. Risky, I wouldn’t want to lose them both but then again we need to ask ourselves where was their experience when we needed them the most towards the end of the 2 previous seasons ? They went hiding in those run ins.

    Don’t get me wrong their playing abilities are top notch, Partey in particular for me he’s world class but they are not indispensable.

    You never know Maybe it’s their wishes to be moved on or Maybe Arteta is being ruthless as promised

  3. I think it’s good to have players with experience on the team

    Partey was fantastic this season when he was playing

    I wish he could stay. He’s world class

  4. Its not a wise decision to allow our best to midfielders leave at this point in time. Even if we are getting a replacement for them, they are already established and part of the ne process MA is building, In my opinion we can still retain their services and if possible get a good midfielder as a backup for either of them

  5. Let’s be honest, until last season, the experienced Xhaka was not a major influence in the Arsenal team in my opinion, indeed, there have been many occasions during his career with us ,when his errors of judgement have been more akin to a belligerent youngster than a man with lots of miles on the clock.Be that as it may, given his reincarnation last season it would be stupid of us to allow him to leave unless a suitable replacement is secured.As to Thomas Partey, it does not make sense for us to sell a guy who is arguably our finest player, unless there gremlins around which may limit his playing time in the not too distant future.

  6. Maybe, if Arsenal sign a big CF. Xhaka and Partey were fantastic, but none of them can hold and win the ball in the final-third

    I wish they can stay, but the current transfer window might be Arsenal’s only chance to get decent fees from their sales

  7. The midfield trio of Partey Xhaka and Ødegaard took us to 2nd. Let’s be honest you don’t just dismantle such a midfield, what you do is build on it. It doesn’t mean they have to be starters but you build on it by adding more quality, if that means that former starters become bench players even better for the team. Letting one go might be understandable but letting the two go is ridiculous. We loose not just experience but leadership. We have a young squad with very little experience and leadership. Sanctioning the sale of not just one, but two of the most experienced midfielders we have is very dangerous. We also loose players familiar with the tactics. Team cohesion also factors in.

    What people don’t get is this, there’s absolutely nothing wrong in buying Rice and co, we might even end up improving the first 11. But considering we now have the added pressure of Champions League, letting the two of them go means we will end up weakening the squad as a whole.

    1. Chapo, you post has obvious sound sense But its one that most Gooners, while agreeing inprinciple, will factor in the money we need to spend on incoming players will need to be balanced, to SOME extent, by sales . And the obvious sales are our older players, I SUGGEST.
      Not the ideal situation, I agree but probably the best of the limited options we have., FINANCIALLY speaking!

  8. Letting either or both leave is not good. Last season Xhaka has been good whilst Partey is only comparable to Rodri, Caicedo and Casemiro in the EPL. Why would we sell them. Rice is good but can not dispense Partey unless Arteta has plans like the Zinchenko vs Tierney case which ultimately cost us points towards the end of the season. Man City in that midfield area has Rodri, Phillips, Gundogan, De Bruyne, & Bernado Silva including Stones who can also play there. We definitely need to add numbers and quality to be a real force. IMO we need someone who can dislodge Odegaard from the first 11 if ESR can’t do it. watching him playing for Norway you could see that he can never take a team to a higher level of be influential in tougher games. Maybe Havertz will be able to do it or we need someone else.

    Lets hope the 100m for Rice does not go to waste as I have watched him since he broke into the West Ham team and definitely is not worth 100M. We can use the money to buy Caicedo and another midfielder. Arteta needs to sell one of the strikers and bring in someone who is bullish like Antonio and Vlahovic who will give us a different dimension when the going gets tough.

    Our defense look ok in numbers and quality and the way we suffered at the end of the season has got to do with the loss of form of Partey, Saka, Martinelli, (the three were overused when we had other players on the bench) and Jesus.

  9. There maybe very good reasons for both players to move on, but it is a risk that we must try to minimize.

    It will be a delicate balance to get the chemistry right playing at a certain level with new recruits, Chelsea experience is not pleasant, took the Citizens time to get that mighty assemble group to function as a unit.

    There are reports what’s holding up Arsenal from signing Havertz, Rice and Timber, is how to squeeze in Lavia.
    Its known as the fantastic four.

  10. Selling both Xhaka and Partey is certainly reckless and risky!
    Second position didn’t come as a gift and the collapse at the end was more on the defence than our midfield.
    Keep one of these guys please.

  11. Very risky decision. I mean really risky. Partey was fantastic before we lost Saliba.
    There’s just no way we can be the same like last campaign. It will take time just as it took 2 years for Arteta to get to that level.
    Keep them an integrate the new players gradually

  12. I remember when a host of invincibles players left over a very short period of time, and it was said their experience was missed when the younger players were pushed centre stage. Though this is a different situation (we haven’t won anything), there could be a similar effect if we try to change too much too quickly. I wouldn’t sell partey unless we had no other choice, I think the team would suffer too much. We should buy his eventually replacement now and potentially he could move on at the end of next season.

  13. Havertz signing I think means Arteta has lost faith in Fabio Vieira, my guess is he’ll be loaned out and Havertz will hopefully be a player that can seamlessly slip into midfield and at right-wing should Saka be protected more this season

  14. I don’t feel the possible signing of Havertz has anything to do with the under performing Vieira who I think should be moved on asap.

    1. Spot on Grandad. I have always thought that in life WE ALL make mistakes and buying Viera was IMO a massive one.

      But wiser folk do all they can as soom as they can, to undo and thus lessen the bad effect of those mistakes.

      Without wishing to reopen old wounds on JA, I knew WITH TOTAL CONVICTION, that after less than two years of Ozil being here, he was a bad influence on our team and therefore our club – by his plain lack of effort and coasting attitude- and I was actively calling for his sale ever since.

      But our club, FOOLISHLY allowed this bad and costly mistake to linger here, instead of cutting our losses, AS EVENTUALLY, but only after a costly and long lasting error, finally happened.

      All managers make SOME bad buys, but wise ones undo that damage ASAP.

      Sadly, I see no active sign that MA regards Viera as a mistake. I think him profoundly wrong though!

  15. Xhaka had a great season but will he do it again. I like his spirit and leadership and would like him to stay, but not at a cost to progress. Partey is a great player when he is fit and on form, but that is sporadic at best. I would not push either out the door, but would not be surprised or majorly disappointed if it happened.

  16. The disruption in our midfield would be massive if the two of them were to leave this summer. So I would say: sell Partey if we can get £35m or more for him. Keep Xhaka for another season even if that means he left for free next summer. The reported £13m price tag on him, in my opinion, is not worth the price of losing him.
    Invest the Partey money on a younger DM who’d blossom fully in a season hence
    A base midfield of Rice, Jorginho, Xhaka and Lavia (say) would be great.
    Havertz would then play further upfield while Elneny would find pastures new

  17. Letting Partey go for the figures quoted is idiotic in the extreme. Yet another decision that is baffling.

  18. I expect Rice to fit into the midfield in such a way we could hardly miss Partey.
    And I don’t agree that £35m for Partey is idiotic. Look Partey is already on the downhill; don’t expect him to do much more than he’s already done

    1. Sorry cant agree with that at all. Partey is top of the tree, is worth more than a paltry 35 mil and we will miss him.

    2. Rice playing with Partey, exiting!!!!! Rice replacing Partey, definitely not an improvement and possibly not the same level. Rice still has time but he has not reached that level yet.

    3. Will you quote that figure you quoted for Partey on Casemiro? How can Rice be 100mil, Havertz 65mil and Partey 35 mil

  19. The problem isn’t losing them both; it’s much like we don’t have a suitable replacement now.

    MA may use and play our current players in different positions, but it would be risky.

    Let one of them go with a decent price, get a proper replacement and focus on our current players. MA should start considering ESR and Neilson more in the future

  20. I have watched Rice in a couple of games. He’s a fine player. But I hope Xhaka and Partey want to leave on the own not bc we are buying Rice and have decided to sell the two. If otherwise then we are taking a huge gamble that may backfire.

  21. It is good to exist the room while people are still singing your name. Your legacy remains intent. Both Xaka and Thomas are marvellous players, they will be remembered if they do vacate the camp. But we have a new crop of players coming in and I believe will take on and oversee the team to greater heights. Believe.

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