New signing Thomas Partey has long been on Arsenal’s radar.
The Gunners left it late to activate Partey’s release clause and snap him up from Atletico Madrid moments before the transfer deadline.
But the move was well over a year in the making.
Partey was on Arsenal ’s radar last summer after being identified as a transfer target by former manager Unai Emery.
Emery even undertook a personal scouting mission, heading to Spain to watch Partey in action against Levante in May 2019 as he eyed a move last summer.
But, according to The Guardian, Emery decided he needed to prioritise the addition of a right winger.
After settling on Wilfried Zaha, he was overruled as the club made a club-record move for Nicolas Pepe which meant a Partey move must wait another year.
With Emery long gone, the Gunners went back into the market to land Partey with transfer chief Edu highlighting the qualities they believe he can bring to the table.
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.
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"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.”
Meanwhile, manager Mikel Arteta stated after landing Partey: “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.”
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