Former Arsenal defender, Nigel Winterburn has urged his former outfit to prioritize signing Thomas Partey over Houssem Aouar if only one of the two can be snapped up.
The Gunners have been in this summer’s transfer market for a defensive and an offensive midfielder. Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey and Lyon’s Houssem Aouar have been identified as the perfect players to fit in those positions.
But Arsenal are currently struggling to get those deals over the line due to the financial constraints at the club.
With less than 10 days to the closure of the transfer window, former Arsenal defender, Nigel Winterburn, who is excited to see Arsenal linked with the duo, but isn’t convinced can pull the two deals off before deadline day has advised the club to Prioritize signing Thomas Partey if only one of the two can be signed.
“Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar are the right sort of names to be linked with Arsenal,” Winterburn told FreeSuperTips.
“At times, for long periods, Arsenal have good possession of the ball. But when teams set up defensively, they struggle to break the opponent down.
“Last weekend [in a 2-1 win over West Ham] was actually a poor performance by Arsenal, but I’m happy about the result because last season that would have been a game that Arsenal would have lost.
“I’ve said for the last two seasons, that the Arsenal squad needs to be changed and refreshed. Mikel Arteta has come in, he’s addressed the defensive issues, and by considering Houssem Aouar and Thomas Partey, it looks like he’s starting to address the problems in midfield as well.
“Arsenal’s big issue is that they’ve got so many midfield players, they probably need to offload some before they can bring more in. However, players like Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar are players that I’m pleased to see Arsenal linked with. They are different types of players that can bolster a midfield.
“I really like Partey because he is quick, solid and powerful off the ball as much as on it. There have been times in the past when Arsenal fail to break things down because of the pace of other teams on the counterattack, which is something that Partey could come in to do.
“He takes the ball in tight situations and has the power and the ability to go past the opposing midfield players. Once you start to eliminate in this way, as Partey does, you tend to open space in and around the opposition’s defence. With Arsenal’s pace up front, they can take advantage of this and cause some damage.
“Mikel Arteta is not totally happy with the midfield that he currently has and looks like he wants to change it up.
“As always with Arsenal it takes a long time to get things done. We’re just going to have to again wait and see, but I don’t believe that Arsenal have the money to bring them both in.
“Also, when discussing ideal signings, we forget to consider whether those players want to join Arsenal, and that’s the most important thing. So, we’ve got to wait and see, but my preference of the two would be Thomas Partey,” he added.
According to reports, Arsenal will push in hard for the two players in the remaining days of the transfer window. The London based side saw a €35m bid for Aouar rejected yesterday, but are preparing to submit an improved offer in the coming days.