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Arsenal chief Edu explains decision to pay £45m for Thomas Partey at last minute

Arsenal technical director Edu has waxed lyrical about Thomas Partey after getting a last-minute deal for the midfielder over the line on transfer deadline day.

The Gunners were heavily linked with a move for Partey throughout the summer window, yet it seemed he would be staying put at Atletico Madrid when they later turned their attention to Lyon’s Houssem Aouar.

Nevertheless, the French club’s £54million asking price proved too steep in the current climate, meaning Edu and Mikel Arteta instead reignited their interest in Partey.

And after triggering his £45million release clause at Atletico, Arsenal confirmed they had signed the Ghana international very late on in the window.

Edu insists he is a “brilliant addition” to Arteta’s squad, tipping him to help them build on what has been an impressive start to the season.

“Thomas has all the right attributes to be a top player for Arsenal,” the Gunners chief said after wrapping up the deal.

“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.”

Arteta was keen to reshuffle his pack in midfield this summer, with Lucas Torreira heading in the opposite direction to Atletico on loan and Matteo Guendouzi leaving to join Hertha Berlin.

The Arsenal manager is delighted to have added Partey to his ranks, saying: “We have been watching Thomas for a while, so we're now delighted to add such a high-quality player to our squad.

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“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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