How Arsenal could line up if Thomas Partey completes Deadline Day transfer

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta's confidence in the club's transfer negotiators is finally set to be rewarded after they made a last-gasp move to sign Thomas Partey.

Short on funds, the Gunners appeared unlikely to be able to pay the £45million release clause in Partey's Atletico Madrid contract.

But reports in Spain suggest Arsenal have made contact with La Liga officials to inform them of their intention to buy Partey out of his deal.

Should Arsenal finalise a deal before the 11pm deadline, they will be capturing one of Europe's best defensive midfielders and a key figure in Diego Simeone's side at Atletico.

Partey will be an instant upgrade on the options currently available to Arteta.

And Star Sport takes a look at what Arteta's best starting XI could look like after the international break.

After seeing off the challenge of Emi Martinez, Bernd Leno is the clear No 1 at Arsenal.

In front of him, Arteta has been favouring a hybrid system which sees the team defend with five at the back then evolving to a back four when on the attack.

Long-term Arteta's preference is a four-man defence and currently, his best options are Hector Bellerin, David Luiz, Gabriel and Kieran Tierney.

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In midfield, Partey will be at the base of a three, protecting the backline.

Dani Ceballos has established himself as an important element of Arteta's midfield and deserves a place with wonderkid Bukayo Saka, who continues to showcase his class despite being 18-years-old.

In attack, captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been a revelation on the left side of the attack but at times he can be on the periphery of games and ultimately his best position is at the head of the front line.

Next to him, Pepe demonstrated why he deserves more starts with an excellently taken goal against Sheffield United and Willian's composure and quality on the ball means he deserves to keep his place in the team for now.

Meanwhile, former Arsenal player Paul Merson is delighted at the prospect of Thomas Partey finally arriving at the Emirates.

Merson told Sky Sports News: "I think he’s a top drawer player. I nearly fell off my chair at that price!

"At £45m, I don’t think that’s a lot of money at all for the quality of player you’re bringing in here.

"The one thing he brings as well is discipline. He’s played at Atletico Madrid who are probably one of the most disciplined teams in Europe and he will do that.

"He’s not a midfield player who will go running all over the place, where you’re thinking: 'Where’s he gone?'

"He’s very disciplined, he plays in a disciplined team and I think he would be a great signing."

  • La Liga
  • Arsenal FC
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