Ex-Gunners advice to Mikel Arteta on transfer dilemma

Former Arsenal defender, Nigel Winterburn has weighed in on the debate over which player Mikel Arteta should sign this summer between Houssem Aouar and Thomas Partey.

The Gunners are looking to land a midfielder and both players have been linked with a summer move to the Emirates.

Arteta has been a long-term admirer of Partey, but he also noticed Aouar from his time as Manchester City’s assistant manager.

He is now looking to sign at least one of the duo although much of the recent transfer news has been about a move for Aouar.

Winterburn, however, thinks that the Gunners should sign Partey instead. He claimed that the Ghanaian is “quick, solid and powerful off the ball as much as on it.” 

Having watched the midfielder, he claimed that there have been times that Arsenal have been in need of a player like Partey in games situations and he would have helped if he was in the team at that time.

Winterburn said as quoted by Mirror Football: “Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar are the right sort of names to be linked with Arsenal.

“At times, for long periods, Arsenal have good possession of the ball. But when teams set up defensively, they struggle to break the opponent down.

“Last weekend [in a 2-1 win over West Ham] was actually a poor performance by Arsenal, but I’m happy about the result because last season that would have been a game that Arsenal would have lost.

“I’ve said for the last two seasons, that the Arsenal squad needs to be changed and refreshed. Mikel Arteta has come in, he’s addressed the defensive issues, and by considering Houssem Aouar and Thomas Partey it looks like he’s starting to address the problems in midfield as well.

“Arsenal’s big issue is that they’ve got so many midfield players, they probably need to offload some before they can bring more in. However, players like Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar are players that I’m pleased to see Arsenal linked with. They are different types of players that can bolster a midfield.

“I really like Partey because he is quick, solid and powerful off the ball as much as on it. There have been times in the past when Arsenal fail to break things down because of the pace of other teams on the counterattack, which is something that Partey could come in to do.

“He takes the ball in tight situations and has the power and the ability to go past the opposing midfield players. Once you start to eliminate in this way, as Partey does, you tend to open space in and around the opposition’s defence. With Arsenal’s pace up front, they can take advantage of this and cause some damage.

“Mikel Arteta is not totally happy with the midfield that he currently has and looks like he wants to change it up.

“As always with Arsenal it takes a long time to get things done. We’re just going to have to again wait and see, but I don’t believe that Arsenal have the money to bring them both in.

“Also, when discussing ideal signings, we forget to consider whether those players want to join Arsenal, and that’s the most important thing. So, we’ve got to wait and see, but my preference of the two would be Thomas Partey.”

Tags Houssem Aouar Nigel Winterburn Thomas Partey


  1. I agree totally with Nigel Winterburn and he played with a great Arsenal midfield in Petit, Viera and Gilberto Silva.
    Partey will bring strength, skill and physicality to the Arsenal midfield to allow others to shine. I am sick and tired of Arsenal being bullied in midfield.

    1. Nah man, we need Aouar more then Partey. We have players who can cover for him and he is not absolute must but we do not have anyone who can play that Santi Carzolla role. Ceballos can bit but he is too inconsistent and plus he is on loan so eventually he will leave. Was Wenger not blamed for not changing with time…those were old days now football is more technical, now more EPL teams try to put the ball on ground and play. We need to change as well look at all the good teams around world everyone now prefers more technically gifted players then rugby still strong built players. We are struggling on creativity front not defensive front and Partey won’t solve this issue for us. He is more defensive minded B2B player. That’s why club and MA are going all out for Aouar. So let’s leave the decision to the person who knows batter manager.

      1. Very strange game indeed with Brighton hitting the bar a record 5 times. Goal is calling the game “The greatest heist in football history” daylight robbery

  2. If we cannot have the two, a deffensive Midfielder(Partey) and an attacking Midfielder(Aouar) then we get the attacking Midfielder who will serve as an Assist Machine for goals. That is what we need most now. GOALS!!!!!
    But, if we can get for the two positions then we will be sure of very high performance and delivery this season. Let Edu and Arteta not get detracted by side recommendations of alternatives. Remain focused on our two prime targets for the midfield.

  3. Get Aour and sign Sangare, would have to be quick Psv Eindhoven are trying to wrap up deal for him and Saints, Sangare is a steal less than 10 mill, Arsenal should sign whatever happens to Partey.

  4. Arsenal should sell Xhaka and Torreira then buy Partey and Aourar. Partey is better than Xhaka. Our midfield should be Partey, Auorar and Ceballos. Then Elneny and Guendozi, Willock as back up.

  5. 1. Financially Aouar makes more sense as his value will not drop like Partey’s
    2. In terms of quality Partey is more likely to be a success as he’s played in a better league
    3. In terms of motivation Aouar is better as he would be moving to a much bigger club
    4. Tactically, it depends. If we continue with 3-4-3 I think Partey would be a better bet. With just 2 central midfielders, we need someone stronger defensively than Elneny or Xhaka or Ceballos. If Arteta is planning on changing to 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 Aouar might be more useful right now because we desperately need his creativity if Ozil is really done (which seems sure).

    1. By drop in value, I meant due to their ages.
      Anyway, I wanted to write all of this to show it’s not an easy decision for Arteta if Kroenke makes him choose only one.

        1. If we can’t afford both, we definitely should. Aouar + Sangare would be much better than just one of Aouar and Partey.

  6. How can Lyon and Atletico behave in this brutal manner? You old fellas, you must let these two young talented football players go, even if it hurt your feelings. Don’t think about yourselves, think of them and their future. Skip your own egos and “wounded vanity”. The only thing that matters here is that they, if it’s true, both want to come to Asn’l. Then you must let them go, everything else is unhuman. Take the dough you are offered and swallow your pride. You have tried to convince them to stay, but they don’t want to. And if you force them to stay, they will guaranteed be less accurate players. You are spoiling their careers. Olympique Lyonnais and Atletico Madrid behave in a way that Auoar and Partey should have the right to appeal to the Geneva Convention of 1951, for the status of refugees. They ought to run for the border… With the tongue in the cheek. RA.

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