Mikel Arteta has ruled out Thomas Partey leaving north London this summer, despite the Ghanaian having been subject to strong interest from Juventus and Saudi Arabian sides.
Partey appeared 33 times in the Premier League last season and was a large part of Arsenal’s excellent campaign, but his injury record remains patchy and the arrival of Declan Rice for a british record transfer fee earlier in the transfer window left his place in the side under scrutiny.
Suggestions that a move to Serie A with giants Juventus, or a switch to the newly-minted Saudi League which has already attracted plenty of top talent.
He was left out of the Arsenal squad of the USA initially thanks to an injury, but has since joined up with his teammates for the pre-season preperations.
And Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has no plans to let him go despite the rumours.
Asked on whether Partey was part of his plans for the upcoming campaign, Arteta responded emphatically.
“Without a question of a doubt”, he told Football.London. “Thomas is a super important player for us and for me. I want him to be part of the team. That’s for sure.”
The Spaniard also revealed that he had a new system in plan which would accommodate both Rice and Partey.
‘Yeah. They can play together’, he added. ‘That was in my plans. If you want to improve the squad and have more quality you need players that can improve the squad and players in the same position that can fight for the same places. It’s something that we haven’t had in the last few years. We wanted to improve that. That’s why we bought Declan as well’.
With Kai Havertz having also arrived to play in midfield, the Gunners may see increased rotation in the middle of the pitch in the coming season, with much more strength in depth among their ranks than in recent seasons.