Paul Merson surprised that Arsenal sealed ‘number one signing’ in Thomas Partey

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Arsenal could have made the signing of the summer in Thomas Partey.

The former Atletico Madrid midfielder has fulfilled one of his career targets by coming to the Premier League, and it already appears that he is worth far more than his £45m buy-out clause.

The 27-year-old played a key role in the narrow win over Manchester United at the weekend, and Paul Merson has been left feeling surprised that his former club got the deal over the line.

The former England playmaker has also mentioned a potential partnership with Mesut Ozil at the Emirates.

In a chat with Sky Sports, Merson said: ”It was a good away performance, it wasn't great, I wouldn't get carried away and say oh my god it's a turning point. They beat a terribly, terribly poor Manchester United team on the day.

“They've done a job, we've seen them lose those games over the last five or six years. But I think Partey's a massive, massive difference. I mean, what a signing.

"When you talk about signings in the summer, he's got to be number one. I cannot believe, without being horrible here, that Arsenal got him. I don't mean that in a horrible way, they're all crying out for it.

“I know Manchester United are top-heavy and they've got Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic, but they haven't got a Partey.”

Merson went on to bemoan the absence of Mesut Ozil, and suggested that he could form a fine partnership with the new midfielder, he said: "I think there was a stage for Ozil now Partey's in the team.

"I watched Chelsea play against Burnley, they played a back four, they played N'Golo Kante in front of the back four, and let everyone else get on with it.

“They ripped Burnley to shreds, I haven't seen too many teams make Burnley look bang average.

"Because Kante was playing in that holding role, it gave Kai Havertz and Mason Mount the freedom to do what they want, they didn't have to spend most of their time on the edge of their own box tracking back.

“With Partey in there now who's so dominant in there and doesn't lose the ball, I think there was a place for Ozil now. I think there was.

"Then if they do drop someone in to pick up Ozil, you've got someone like Partey who's very comfortable on the ball and can hurt you. Then that frees a midfield player up.

“I think there's a trick being missed here, but that's just me.

"He's that good I think it would've opened up a space for Ozil. But he's not for one reason, and that's because he doesn't run around. Why did Manchester United get beaten on Sunday? Because they don't run around."

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