LONDON – Arsenal has completed the signing of Thomas Partey after activating his £45million release clause in a remarkable coup for Mikel Arteta.
Partey has agreed a four-year contract understood to be worth around £200,000-a-week with an option to be extended for a further season.
Arsenal made their move late in the window after Atletico Madrid refused to negotiate over any deal, insisting that the Gunners would have to pay up the full release clause in Partey’s contract or find another player. After their move for Houssem Aouar hit the rocks Mikel Arteta and Edu opted to follow the Spanish club’s advice and registered their intentions to submit the £45million payment at La Liga offices.
That effectively cut Atletico Madrid out of proceedings with the Spanish giants said to be surprised that Arsenal secured Partey at the 11th hour. Lucas Torreira’s loan move in the opposite direction could help to soften the blow.
Partey had been at the top of Arsenal’s wishlist throughout this summer and his decision to leave one of Europe’s biggest clubs to join Arteta’s side, who finished eighth in the Premier League, represents a huge coup for the manager and technical director Edu.
The prospect of moving to London, playing in the Premier League and working with Arteta all helped convince Partey to leave Atletico Madrid after eight years with the club. A significant increase on the £150,000-a-week salary they were prepared to offer will also have swayed him.
Last season, the Ghana international made 46 appearances for Atletico, playing a key role in their third-placed finish in La Liga and reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
During his career, Thomas has also enjoyed successful loan spells in Spain with RCD Mallorca (2013/14) and UD Almeria (2014/15), and has made 29 international appearances for Ghana.
Technical director Edu, said: “Thomas has all the right attributes to be a top player for Arsenal. He is a leader on and off the pitch and he is exactly the kind of player and person we want at the club. We already feel like we know Thomas very well based on the work we have done analysing his performances closely in recent times.
“With his all-round game and positive aggressive style, he will be a brilliant addition to our squad. We’ve made a strong start to the season and we want to continue to build on this with Thomas now part of our club.”
Mikel Arteta added: “We have been watching Thomas for a while, so we’re now delighted to add such a high quality player to our squad. He is a dynamic midfielder with great energy. He brings a lot of experience from a top club that has competed at the highest level in La Liga and the Champions League for several years.
“We’re very impressed with his attitude and his approach to the game. He’s an intelligent footballer and we’re looking forward to him integrating into our system and contributing to the progress we’re building at the moment at the club.”
Thomas will wear the No 18 shirt and will join up with his new team-mates next week after he returns from international duty with Ghana.