What happened between Arteta and Partey? I’m still shocked he is leaving Arsenal

John Barnes is baffled Partey is set to depart Arsenal. Daniel O

There’s talk that Arsenal and Thomas Partey are working together for his Emirates exit. Arsenal are reportedly set to welcome reasonable bids for their No. 5 enforcer.

There was a time when the thought of Thomas Partey not being fit to play when Arsenal had a game gave Gooners nightmares. Arteta’s midfield was nothing without him. However, come next season; there’s a strong chance that Partey won’t be a Gunner.

The thought that Partey would be leaving has honestly shocked me. The Ghanaian international is “undroppable” on a good day. He is arguably one of the finest midfielders in Europe, which is why Barnes claims as per futfanatico: “Arsenal potentially selling Thomas Partey would surprise me because he’s their best defensive midfield player. Is it a personality thing with Partey?

“Partey has done really well for Arsenal, but it could be similar to [Joao] Cancelo with Manchester City and Pep [Guardiola]. We don’t know the ins and outs of it, but I am surprised because he’s a strong defensive midfielder.

“Declan Rice could be coming in, so they may decide Rice is the best option going forward.”

What do you think is the reason why the former Atletico Madrid man is leaving Arsenal? And where should he go, the Saudi League or the Serie A, with Juve keen on him?

Daniel O

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Tags Thomas Partey


  1. This is a puzzler. Partey was staking a claim to be the best defensive midfielder in the Premiership up until March. He outshine Rodri, Rice and Casemiro in all departments and was the engine behind our title charge. But then his form fell of a cliff. He wasn’t just not performing to his usual standard he was a liability at times. It was a dramatic transformation and the primary reason for our drop in form and results.

    The only reasonable explanation is that something occurred that disturbed his mental equilibrium and he lost focus and drive. With the seeming resignation at Arsenal to his departure it would suggest that there was a difference of opinion as there doesn’t look to be the appetite to retain his services. Which is a huge pity because when Partey was on song we were dynamite.

    1. I think maybe the potential charges he could be facing rocked him as it has been dragging on from last year, maybe he feels he needs a fresh break, no point keeping him if he isn’t 100% focused, shame I do rate him when he is focused

    2. A good signal, as Arsenal is now willing to sell its players when they are still shining. Wait two more years and you have to sell Partey for free.

  2. It is something of an enigma. At face value it doesn’t make sense, but his form did drop drastically. Maybe he has issues outside of the game, and a move abroad may be best for him personally and the club financially.

    1. Does Saka have issues outside the game? I asked, because saka played nothing in the last 6 games.

  3. I think it’s a shock to most of us. Just when we thought we are building on what we already have, a strong foundation that we can trust when the unexpected happens, we throw away one of our strongest pillars.. We continue to trust the process however.

  4. I really like Thomas Partey and wish he could stay for one more season. He is a class player and Arsenal could still benefit from his talent in the next campaign.

  5. It’s my assumption that Party is exiting Arsenal as a result of Arteta’s attitude. How comes many once good Arsenal players left Arsenal on a sour situation? I would think Arteta is a dictator who doesn’t respect his players particularly the performing ones. If this trend continues then Arsenal is heading to nowhere

    1. I think maybe the potential charges he could be facing rocked him as it has been dragging on from last year, maybe he feels he needs a fresh break, no point keeping him if he isn’t 100% focused, shame I do rate him when he is focused

    2. keep your assumptions to yourself as they are way off the mark… Arteta a dictator, my oh my

  6. I’ve always been on the fence where Partey is concerned, knowing that he can blow hot and cold and you never know which Partey is going to turn up. I live in Madrid and am an Atletico supporter and Partey’s on-off performances were well known at the club, which is why Cholo Simeone wasn’t sorry to see him go. Trouble is, he’s never been properly replaced at Atletico and there’s a serious danger of the same thing happening at Arsenal. Partey is a far better defender and attacking midfielder than the 100 million bionic man, and I for one will be sorry to see him go.

    1. Rumours !! All just rumours, the same rumours were spread about Jorginho & he came out and said he doesn’t know where the rumours comes from. I don’t think MA will stupid enough to let him go even with Rice in the squad he is still a very useful player

      1. Just understand the logics. There are writers of others clubs in England, that write things about players to cause problems within the dressing room and on the pitch.

    2. Considering all the numbers say that Rice performed as well if not better defensively than Partey (even before he dropped off in form), and that Rice has created and scored more chances than Partey did, I’m going to assume you’re just speaking from a place of bias and limited knowledge.

  7. Maybe Arteta felt Partey’s legal and injury problems made him not worth a long-term contract extension

    Remember about Benjamin Mendy and Gylfi Sigurdsson? They’ve been found not guilty, but the prolonged legal battles have ruined their careers

    Yves Bissouma is another example of how a little legal problem could derail someone’s career. If Partey still deals with the authorities next season, our team could get badly affected

    1. This was my thoughts, I think it may be due to possible legal problems. I know there were allegations against partey not too long ago

      1. Yes, I’m afraid Partey’s legal cases could be extended up to next year. If it happens, it could disturb our squad’s plan and make a bad example to our youngsters

  8. I can see quite a few reasons

    Partey has been with us three seasons and played 99 games, so 33 a season and that is not enough. In comparison Rice has played 100 in the last two.

    He is 30, so time to move on on the next few seasons, why not now when we can get some money for him? He would also be probably off to the ANC in January so would miss more games.

    We need someone in that position who will be the rock of the side and that means playing nearly every game. There are not many players who can do that and they do not come around often. Rice is one and it was worth paying the money to get him.

    I know we need depth but keeping Partey on his wages just as back up is not viable.

    1. All things being equal, it is ridiculous to ask Partey to be a backup to Rice. Baring injury Partey is better than Rice, more technical more skillful and experienced. If the club is letting him go for financial reasons, fair enough, but not because he is not still our best defensive midfielder. Same I think of Xhaka. We shouldn’t just trade of our best players for the unknown quantities, Arsenal building process wise. Selling our best players when we need more reinforcement is not building but tearing down.

      1. More technical and skillful?? I completely disagree, and you’ll see it if/when you see Rice play closely

  9. One thing for sure if Partey leaves we are back at square one.

    Rice cannot play his role and Partey role at the same time on top of that they are two different powerful midfielders.

    I just can’t see us not winning the first six games with these two great players in the middle of the park.

    1. Rice is better defensively than almost any DM in the league, including Partey. Partey is a better passer but Rice has him beat in every other category. He’s younger, bigger, faster, stronger, fitter, more agile, more determined, doesn’t go missing, and he’s a leader.

      If we get Rice we don’t need Partey or Xhaka. He’s better than both of them combined. Still overpriced but for what he will bring it’s worth it if we are getting £££ for the others. Especially if it allows us to bring in Jurrien Timber as well. Amazing business.

      1. Ben
        Declan Rice is a top talent alright his Aerial prowess is the best for any player in his position, he has even managed to score five goals so he’s quite a player.

        But Arsenal do need another physical player in the middle of the park else we will be overrun by powerful and physical teams.

      2. Not true at all. Rice is not bigger than Partey, not better defensively at all. Rice is robust but Partey is better defensively without having to be hard as he reads the game better. Please respect Partey who has done so much for the team. Rice is a good player without doubt but to say he outshines Partey in every aspect of the game is being naive. Rice has been anonymous in many West Ham games most recently the Conference league final. Please respect and appreciate our players.

        1. See, I can look past the utter lack of knowledge regarding Rice’s ability (and even more glaringly, his stats and how they stack up to Partey’s) since you probably haven’t seen enough of him to judge, but to make statements on how Rice apparently is ‘anonymous in many West Ham games most recently the Conference league final’ is just straight up BS.
          EVERY West Ham fan, or any other interested party who’s actually followed West Ham games, will tell you Rice has RARELY dropped levels for us. He NEVER disappears, even in his worst games, he’s a 6-7/10 for us, and more often than not, he’s a 8 or higher.

          Also, Rice literally has way more interceptions AND higher interception rate p90 than Partey, not to mention Rice and Partey have very similar rates of Tackle success and giving away (or not giving away) fouls while tackling, so that’s a rubbish point as well too

  10. I think it may be related to his off field problems. He needs to go away from England. That’s what I believe.

    1. I don’t think Arteta is an idiot. Because with the image we’ve all formed of Tomas’ value, plus a barometer for the team’s performance, the only explanation anyone can give , is Arteta burned in the brain. Since he always considered him a pillar of the team However, I don’t think he’s stupid, as I said at the beginning, to not want to have this player suddenly in his team. I think that Tomas has a serious problem with injury. Something that has also been seen in previous seasons, and especially towards the end of each year. I think that this problem has now worsened and it is very likely that his injuries will be more frequent from now on, something which no one would like to see. Especially in the last matches this year, he suddenly appeared as if he was guarding himself, as if indifferent, he looked like another player. That’s why I think it’s not just a situation,What it seems is that Arteta suddenly doesn’t want him, and is selling him. And of course, this is not consistent under normal circumstances for this player. I believe that something like this is happening, that is, that he will We have a great player, but at the same time a lame horse, so it will be best if he leaves before something stinks. And remember this, wherever he goes, he will pick up injuries quite often.

    2. disrespectful of you. Party is the gel that allows us to play beautiful and allow the younger players to flourish attaching wise.

  11. In common wit many fans and some posts on this thread, I do not know the reason why Partey is, as it appears , likely to be sold.

    But I am content to leave the man who WILL know ALL the reasons behind his thinking, our manager,to make th correct decison.

    We fans need to accept that none of us knows anywhere nearly as much about internal club business, as some of us like to imagine we do!

    1. I tend to agree with you Jon
      We can all play guessing games but as you so rightly said, Arteta knows what’s what

    2. Jon fox, I read an excellent piece of your article no stan and josh yesterday, too bad I couldn’t comment, was having trouble with my key pads. And can’t find it either! I have ignored commenting on the transfer rumors and speculation so far! And my opinion ideally could be we limit such articles in a day, which probably admin won’t approve!

  12. Arsenal selling Partey would mean no progress unless they intend to bring in another body there. I however saw a shift in Zincenko coming in, with Cancelo at left back. But the truth is many games needs a large squad that is if arsenal is ambitious in all fronts.

  13. I think this is a terrible risk. We’re apparently spending 100m on rice – if we were going to stick rice in xhaka’s position with partey behind, I’d be very confident that setup would be highly successful. If partey is to leave, that suggests rice will take over the DM position in front of the defence – I’m far less confident rice would be able to take on that role and be as good as TP. Partey’s skill on the ball really sets him apart from most other defensive midfielders, and that includes rice to my mind. It could be that this 100m signing doesn’t work out as well as we might expect because partey is leaving. I’m probably wrong as rice has other qualities that might make him even better than partey, but we’ll have to see.

  14. I reckon his fitness has a bit to do with it he seems to drop off near the end of the season. I believe he was carrying a knock or something towards the end of last season and remember the season where Arteta was pushing him to continue in a game that he wanted to come off in, Arteta pushed him to stay on. His focus might also be hampered by his off-field problems, it’s easy to see how that could damage his mindset. Maybe Arteta is trying to play it safe and not risk it

  15. Yes Partey had his ups and downs but tell me a player that
    Doesn’t, overall he’s Arsenal’s best defensive midfielder for
    A very long time infact one of the best in the prem.
    Unless there’s something off field gone on it’s crazy letting
    Him go we all saw what happened last season we need to
    Strengthen the squad after so many season’s of underfunding
    We need Partey to perhaps all enjoy a very big party at the end of next session .

  16. I would hope that there is not any personal animosity between Arteta and Partey which has given rise to his departure as we can I’ll afford to lose a player of his calibre .I really hope Partey and Tierney are not moved on as our squad will be severely weakened by their departure.

    1. I much agree Grandad, but whatever happens, there is nothing we fans can do to change things.

      Opinions are fine and often interesting – though sometimes plainly ignorant too- but I remind myself that whatever we say on JA, is no more than us all letting off steam, essentially.

      Though, as it makes us feel a true part of our club, then in that wider context, it IS of value!

  17. This is simple….Arsenal as it seems won’t be renewing partey’s deal so its only logical for TP5 to explore other opportunity. Its TP5 who asked MA8 for permission to explore those possibilities and Edu with the board accepted his request. Infact the club is helping him in search of a new club so all these negativity around this issue is useless

  18. What a crap article!! Key player to leave the club?! I just don’t know how it is possible for articles like this to exist and who writes them.

  19. Who said Partey is leaving? All I’ve read is Arsenal MAY be open to Partey leaving IF a suitable replacement is found. The said replacement was Moses Caicedo who is likely headed to the thug enclave of Putinbridge. People overreacting on here and even bringing up things we GROWN men have no business talking about at such an early stage, ’cause we have zero knowledge of what’s happening. FFS stop being lil b*tches, Learn to respect other people’s privacy until facts become public. You may be slandering a victim! Who knows?

  20. To be honest, this one makes absolutely no sense. If Rice gets injured, then what? Then we’re just back to square 1. Why can’t they both play at Arsenal and we actually take a serious challenge to City – there is a Champions League as well now. Selling Partey just makes zero sense to me. Yes his form dipped, but that’s also because we could never afford to even rest him

  21. I guess Arteta feels he has got the Defensive midfield covered with the experienced Jorginho and youthful Declan Rice.

    Hopefully, if Partey goes Arteta turns out to be right.

  22. It must be frustrating for Arteta to hear Partey constantly booed by away teams every time he touches the ball.
    We all know it’s because of the personal allegations made against him and I would think that Arteta would prefer to have a clean break from this.

    1. I really wish this witch hunt again arsenal players and manager would stop and fans just get behind the club especially as it not even pre season yet.

  23. Partey and Rice is a premier league winning midfield. Rice needs Partey and Partey needs Rice. Selling would be tant amount to treason!!!!!!!!!

    1. Reggie, I don’t see us selling partey , it could seem stupid if we did, who is the back up option? Another new signing?

  24. Why would we be selling or letting Partey go? I’ll rather let Joginho leave than Party. Aside the age advantage, Rice is not better or as skilful as Partey. It would be unreasonable to let Partey go while buying a spent player from Chelsea.
    Something is not right about this one. It’s still just a rumour anyway.

  25. I blame the English media and the stadium fans for this. Same with Xhaka. The constant disrespect of both of them in the media and more blatant disgusting chants at rival stadiums make my blood boil sometimes. Just imagine how it affected them. I can’t believe rival fans are booing and insulting Partey at away games for an accusation that was not proven true at all.

  26. Both of them are needed in the team.
    We 2 world class DMs in our advanced CB role.
    They will rotate through out the whole season.
    Neither of them can do it alone for a whole season.

  27. Thomas Partey has certainly been the type of player we have missed over recent years, but many fans seem to forget that teams need refreshing, in various areas, every year.Rice is 6 years younger and so fitter and less injury prone than Partey. Once a player picks up injuries regularly then the manager must take the advice of the medical staff who I am sure know whose career is on the wane.

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