Thomas Partey ‘envisaged’ Granit Xhaka partnership in 2019 Arsenal meeting

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Thomas Partey is set to relish the chance to playing alongside Granit Xhaka at Arsenal.

The combative midfielder is set to link up with his new team-mates following the international break after his buy-out clause of £45m was met by Gunners chief Edu on the final day of the transfer window.

The 27-year-old had proved to be a fine asset for Diego Simeone in both La Liga and the Champions League over the past five seasons, and helped the club to Europa League glory during 2017/18.

The following season would see Arsenal put forward their interest to the player himself, who is said to have spoke highly of Xhaka and admitted that he could envisage a future partnership.

The Athletic have reported that Partey was involved in ‘clandestine meetings’ in Madrid during the aforementioned season that were attended by representatives of Arsenal.

During that meeting it is said that he spoke about his potential role in the team, which included chat about his style of play and preferred positions with former head of international scouting Francis Cagigao.

Partey is also said to have spoke ‘admiringly’ of former captain Xhaka, whom he ‘envisaged’ playing with.

In addition, is has been reported that Partey was frustrated that the ridged system of Simeone left the whole team at Atletico with little room for any self-expression.

Mikel Arteta told the official website after the signing was confirmed: “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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With technical director Edu adding: “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.”

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