Arsenal have completed the signing of Thomas Partey after activating the midfielder’s £52.5million release clause at Atletico Madrid.
The Gunners have been chasing the player for some time, and were first interested in the 27-year-old Ghana international a number of years ago.
However, Partey has been a key man for Diego Simeone at Atletico – only to grow frustrated with his low salary, when compared to his teammates in the Spanish capital.
That will not be an issue at the Emirates, where Partey has put pen to paper on a four-year deal worth £260,000-a-week, will bank a £2.5m signing-on fee, while his agent nets 10 per cent commission.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has been desperate to add another midfielder to his squad before the close of the window, but saw a deal for Lyon’s Houssem Aouar broke down over the weekend.
That saw them turn their attentions back to Partey, who had been the club’s No.1 target, but whom they had struggled to agree a fee for with Atletico.
However, Atletico were powerless to prevent the player leaving due to Arsenal meeting his release clause fee.
Atletico confirmed just before the deadline in England on Monday night: “La Liga informed Atlético de Madrid at 11.28pm on Monday that Arsenal representatives have paid Thomas Partey’s release clause at the sports association’s headquarters.
“The player has therefore unilaterally terminated his contract with our club, which ran until June 30, 2023.”
That move duly made Partey available to complete his switch to Arsenal, despite Atletico desires to keep him at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Mikel Arteta said: “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.”
Partey came through the academy at Atletico and after going on two loan spells to Mallorca and Almeria he first broke into the first-team in the 2015-16 season.
Since then he has been a hugely important part of Diego Simeone’s side, and helped them to Europa League and UEFA Super Cup glory in 2018 while also finishing as a Champions League runner-up in 2016.
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Arsenal 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.”
Lucas Torreira has joined Atletico in a season-long loan move, the Spaniards have also confirmed.
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