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Man United beating Arsenal to sign this midfield anchor with £43.5m release clause would be the key for Solskjaer

Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey tries to control the ball. (Getty Images)
Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey tries to control the ball. (Getty Images)
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Man United Opinion: Red Devils should beat Arsenal in the race to sign Thomas Partey

According to the Daily Mail, Premier League giants Man United and Arsenal are set to battle it out for the signing of Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey in the summer transfer window.

Daily Mail understands that Inter Milan are also interested in the Ghanaian international, with the player’s agent revealing that the defensive midfielder has a release clause of £43.5 million in his contract at the Wanda Metropolitano.

The same source claims that Partey has impressed Unai Emery and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with his consistent run of form in the La Liga and both the managers are keen on bringing the 25-year-old to the Premier League this summer.

Partey signed for Atletico as a talented youngster from Ghana back in 2011 and played for the club’s reserve team for a couple of years before making his professional debut in the 2015-16 season, following a successful loan spell at fellow La Liga club Almeria. The 25-year-old struggled to establish himself as a regular in his first two seasons but he has established himself as one of the club’s prized assets since the start of the 2017-18 season.

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The Ghanaian enjoyed another fruitful season at Atletico this term and made 32 appearances in the La Liga, scoring thrice and setting up another 4 in the process. He has carved out a reputation for himself as one of the best defensive midfielders in the Spanish top-flight over the past couple of campaigns and his links to the Premier League giants comes as little surprise.

Partey has made a total of 139 appearances for the Rojiblancos in all competitions till date, accumulating 12 goals and 11 assists, returns which are quite good for a defensive midfielder.

Known for his strength, tenacity, drive and determination, Partey is an energetic presence in the middle of the park who has the capability to shoulder both defensive and attacking responsibilities. Noted for his high work-rate, Partey covers every blade of grass on the pitch to add steel to the midfield and hold things together, while also possessing excellent technical abilities and a wonderful range of passing to dictate the tempo of the game.

Quick across the ground, strong on the tackle and blessed with remarkable dribbling skills for a central midfielder, the 25-year-old not only makes use of his game reading ability to cut out attacks with tackles and interceptions but he also sets his team on the front-foot with powerful driving runs forward.

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Despite being used in a defensive role, Partey is more than capable of creating his own space and chipping in with key passes from the midfield, while also making late runs into the box to contribute with valuable goals. Furthermore, he is a wonderful distance-shooter and a recognised set-piece specialist.

To put things into perspective, Partey would be an excellent signing for both Man United and Arsenal but the Red Devils would bag a massive coup if they manage to beat off competition for the highly-rated midfield enforcer this summer. A new central midfielder is likely to be high on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s recruitment list, following the departure of Ander Herrera on a free transfer and the Ghanaian perfectly fits the bill.

United finished the season with a poor run of results against the likes of relegated teams like Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town and the manager clearly needs to revamp his squad in the summer to challenge for silverware. If the recently-concluded Premier League season is anything to go by, Nemanja Matic is clearly past his prime and Paul Pogba is not consistent enough to deliver the goods week-in-week-out.

The Red Devils splashed a huge amount to bring Fred to the club last summer but the Brazilian has not lived up to the expectations whatsoever and United certainly need better and more consistent players to compete with the best. Thomas Partey looks more like the real deal and United should go all out in their pursuit of the Ghanaian enforcer to add steel and stability to their midfield.

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Partey, 25, has entered his prime years and United have every reason to look at him as an excellent long-term investment. Going by what he has shown so far in the La Liga, the Red Devils might as well have a player better than Fernandinho in the years to come if they manage to strike a deal for him this summer.

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