Paul Merson gives verdict on new Arsenal signing Thomas Partey

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Paul Merson has welcomed the addition of Thomas Partey to the Arsenal team on transfer deadline day.

The Gunners were linked with a swoop to sign the Ghana international throughout most of the 2020 summer transfer window as Mikel Arteta looked to improve his midfield options.

Arsenal looked unlikely to sign Partey because the Gunners didn’t want to meet the £45m release clause in his contract at Atletico Madrid.

In fact, the north London side’s pursuit of Partey appeared to be all but over because Arsenal are feeling the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their transfer budget.

However, the Gunners stepped up their interest with a £45m deal to sign Partey on transfer deadline day as they activated the African midfielder’s contract release clause.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson welcomed the addition of Partey to the Gunners squad to further improve Arteta’s midfield for the rest of the 2020-21 Premier League season.

“I think he’s a top drawer player. I nearly fell off my chair at that price!” Merson told Sky Sports News. “At £45m, I don’t think that’s a lot of money at all for the quality of player you’re bringing in here.

“The one thing he brings as well is discipline. He’s played at Atletico Madrid who are probably one of the most disciplined teams in Europe and he will do that.

“He’s not a midfield player who will go running all over the place, where you’re thinking: “Where’s he gone?”

“He’s very disciplined, he plays in a disciplined team and I think he would be a great signing.”

Arsenal signed seven players in the 2020 summer transfer window, bringing in Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes, Chelsea FC winger Willian, Flamengo defender Pablo Mari, Southampton full-back Cedric Soares and Dijon goalkeeper Alex Runarsson.

Arteta will be looking to steer Arsenal to a top-four finish this season and a long-awaited return to the Champions League.

The Gunners were 2-1 winners against Sheffield United at The Emirates on Sunday to secure their third win of the Premier League campaign following a 3-1 loss to Liverpool FC at Anfield before that.

Arsenal will make the trip to Manchester City in their next Premier League fixture at The Etihad on Saturday 17 October.

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