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    Arsenal sign Thomas Partey in last-gasp transfer as Arteta pays £45m Atletico release clause after missing out on Aouar

    ARSENAL have completed a dramatic deadline day deal to sign Thomas Partey for £45million.
    A combative midfielder, such as Partey or Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar, has been high on Mikel Arteta’s wish list throughout the transfer window.

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    Thomas Partey becomes Arsenal’s seventh major signing of the autumn windowCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    But the Gunners’ chances of sealing a deal appeared remote after Aouar committed to his current club for another season.
    Serious talk of Ghana international Partey finally arriving then broke on Monday afternoon, with the player reportedly remaining in Spain to complete a quickfire deal.
    Arsenal have paid Atletico Madrid his £45million release clause, significantly shortening the time required for negotiations.
    Wth the deal signed, new No18 Partey is expected to fly to Turkey to join his Ghana national team squad.
    Atletico confirmed the deal after his transfer fee was received.
    The Spanish club stated that the paperwork was completed at 10.28pm UK time, just over half an hour before the deadline.
    Mikel Arteta told the Arsenal website that he was thrilled to seal the transfer after months of monitoring the player.

    He 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.

    With his all-round game and positive aggressive style, he will be a brilliant addition to our squad.
    EduArsenal Technical Director

    “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.”
    Technical director Edu added: “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.”
    The deal comes just after the club were finally able to shift Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi off their loan bill.
    Torreira heads in the opposite direction, joining Atletico Madrid on a season-long loan.

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    Partey showed his excitement for the move on Instagram

    Arsenal confirmed in a statement: “Everyone at Arsenal wishes Lucas well during his time with Atletico Madrid this season.”
    French midfielder Guendouzi, an outcast after falling out with Arteta, has left for Hertha Berlin on a loan deal of his own.
    Dani Ceballos, Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares have all stayed on at Emirates Stadium after signing last year, with Willian, Gabriel Magalhaes and Runar Alex Runarsson all joining in a busy window.

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    Arsenal verdict: Bukayo Saka shows England credentials as he keeps Mo Salah at bay for an hour

    BUKAYO SAKA played in a blockbuster of a Carabao Cup tie in the same round last season.
    Since then he has changed a lot and so has his club Arsenal.

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    Saka had his hands full tracking back for Salah – but put on another impressive showing Credit: Rex Features

    The teenage defender took to the pitch at Liverpool on a high having received his first England senior call-up – just a month after making his debut for the Under 21s.
    It’s a moment of celebration for the player and Arsenal who are slowly but steadily maturing much like their highly regarded young defender.
    Saka, 19, played in the breathless 5-5 fourth round draw at Anfield that went to penalties and played a significant role in the eventual downfall of Arsenal boss Unai Emery.
    Mikel Arteta has since replaced him at the helm and there was no way the new-look Arsenal were going to play any part in any kamikaze cup football this time around.
    The anticipated Liverpool onslaught failed to materialise, with wing back Saka playing his part in keeping Mo Salah at bay for more than an hour, eventually forcing the illustrious Egyptian to call it a night early.
    Saka also added his weight to the visitors’ attack in a game which doubled as his England audition.
    The left back or left wing back position is not as blessed as it is on the opposite flank for the England team.

    Confirmed right back Kieran Trippier was forced to play there in the last two internationals against Iceland and Denmark.
    Ironically, Saka is vying for his England place in direct competition with his club mate Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
    The football at Anfield was nowhere near as high octane as the chaotic night last October when Liverpool eventually won on penalties. But the defeat left a big impression on the Arsenal squad.
    They would not win again until December 9 when they beat West Ham.
    It is also interesting to note that before kick off Arsenal had conceded more goals at Liverpool’s fortress than any other Premier League team since boss Jurgen Klopp took charge in 2015 – a whopping 26.
    Arsenal are a different prospect nowadays and while it might not be as exciting to watch for the neutral, Arteta and Saka will be delighted with the way they held out for so long against the Premier League champions.
    Saka will be just as pleased that just a moment after going down with cramp in his own area during yet another tussle with Wales’ Nico Williams who he may face next week, he was setting up Pepe for a shot on goal.

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