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Thomas Partey was “the signing of the transfer window”, claims former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell, with Atletico Madrid, told they “dropped the ball” in allowing the midfielder to leave for just £45 million ($58m). The Gunners decided to trigger a relatively low release clause in the Ghana international’s contract as the summer deadline approached.

Campbell believes the right call was made, saying there is every reason to believe that the new big-money addition in north London will deliver an immediate return on the investment of faith and funds made in him.

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“Thomas Partey was the signing of the transfer window,” ex-Gunners frontman Campbell told GentingBet. “For Arsenal to get him for £45m is tremendous business – Arsenal almost went in with balaclavas on and stole him!

“Atletico Madrid dropped the ball by only having a £45m release clause, he is a player that is a lot better than £45m in this current market, but that was the release cause and Arsenal met it and they have their man. “It is a key position for the club, he is moving into his prime and he will spend those years at the football club, so he is someone that the club can build around in midfield.”

Partey has linked up with a buoyant Arsenal squad at Emirates Stadium, with Arteta’s side looking to build on FA Cup and Community Shield successes. They have made an encouraging start to their 2020-21 campaign, with Campbell of the opinion that a top-four finish can be chased down. He said: “With Partey added to the mix, Arsenal need to be looking at finishing in the top four.

“Having that key figure defensively, someone who can protect the back is so important in modern-day football and Arsenal haven’t had that in years – they’ve had players there who haven’t really liked playing there that have done a job but this is a level above.

“If they don’t get top four that will be disappointing – it needs to be the focus of the team this year.” It could be that Partey is thrown in at the deep end on Saturday with a debut against Manchester City, up against the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Fernandinho.

“Well, it’s the decision of Mikel,” Partey said when asked if he is expecting to face City. “I just arrived. For me, I’m prepared but I need to get used to the style of play before I can play.”


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