QUALITY ADDITION

Merson backs new signing Partey to shine at Arsenal

Merson added that the 27-year-old Ghanaian, who arrived from Atletico Madrid, would bring discipline and quality to the side.

In Summary

• Arsenal have also signed Willian, Pablo Mari, Cedric Soares, Gabriel Magalhaes and Dani Ceballos as they bid to improve on their eighth-placed finish last season.

• Meanwhile, Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has joined Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin on loan for the rest of the season.

New Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey
New Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey
Image: /REUTERS

The 45 million pounds Arsenal shelled out for midfielder Thomas Partey on transfer deadline day could prove to be a bargain, former Gunners forward Paul Merson has said.

Merson added that the 27-year-old Ghanaian, who arrived from Atletico Madrid, would bring discipline and quality to the side.

“I think Thomas Partey is a top drawer player. I nearly fell off my chair with 45 million pounds, I don’t think that’s a lot of money at all for the quality of player,” Merson, who played for Arsenal between 1985-97, told Sky Sports.

“One thing he brings as well is discipline. Atletico Madrid are probably one of the most disciplined teams in Europe and he will do that. He’s not a midfielder that goes running all over the place ... I think he will be a great signing.”

Arsenal have also signed Willian, Pablo Mari, Cedric Soares, Gabriel Magalhaes and Dani Ceballos as they bid to improve on their eighth-placed finish last season.

“I think what (manager) Mikel Arteta is doing, he’s trying to get rid of the players who aren’t involved, he doesn’t want them hanging around and he wants them out,” Merson added. “Fair play, I like what Arsenal are doing.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has joined Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin on loan for the rest of the season.

The 21-year-old has not played for the Gunners since a 2-1 defeat by Brighton in June, during which he was involved in a fracas with Neal Maupay.

The Frenchman signed for Arsenal from Lorient in 2018, having started his career in Paris St-Germain’s academy.

He made 82 appearances for the Gunners, but has not been in the matchday squad this season.

He featured regularly under manager Unai Emery in his debut season in 2018-19, playing in 33 of Arsenal’s 38 Premier League matches.

He was also a regular fixture in the side for the first half of last season, but featured far less following the appointment of Mikel Arteta in December 2019.

In the game at Brighton — Arsenal’s second following the post-lockdown restart — he had to be pulled away from Maupay during a confrontation between both sets of players.