Arsenal fans are excited after images of the team back in pre-season training hit the internet but many are asking, “Where is Thomas Partey?”
The Ghana midfielder was conspicuously absent from all the happy faces that are plastered all over the Gunners' social media accounts and fans are worried about his future at the club.
Partey is also silent and has not shared any pictures relating to Arsenal since the end of last season, giving fuel to the rumours of his exit from the Emirates Stadium, which dominate the transfer news and rumours mills in the media of late.
Straight to work 💪 pic.twitter.com/s5uanEaWor
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) July 10, 2023
Declan Rice signing fuels Thomas Partey exit rumours
Arsenal have agreed personal and contractual terms to sign West Ham United captain Declan Rice and are close to completing the necessary paperwork with the Hammers to bring the 24-year-old Englishman to the Emirates.
Rice's signing directly puts Partey's position in trouble as both players occupy the same areas of the pitch.
Both are exceptional in their work but Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is believed to be more interested in Rice for his youth and the possibility of utilising the England man in various positions.
Also, with Rice set to cost over £100 million in transfer fees, the Gunners know that they have to move players on to accommodate the spending and balance their wage books.
Not long to go now, Arsenal fans… ⏳ pic.twitter.com/QKEZIgj70s
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) July 11, 2023
Partey has been approached by a number of Saudi Arabian clubs but the Ghana international has not accepted any of the offers. Arsenal are also keeping mum about their plans for the Ghanaian but his noticeable absence in the pictures and videos shared by the club has raised many eyebrows.
Fans are clamouring for the team to keep both Partey and Rice as they believe that the combination of both midfielders will make for a stronger team, especially with their imminent return to the UEFA Champions League after five seasons away from the tournament.
Partey out, Nwaneri In?
Super Eagles prospect Ethan Nwaneri, who recently signed a new scholarship deal with Arsenal, could replace Partey in the Arsenal squad.
Nwaneri, 16, is considered Arsenal's best youngster since Bukayo Saka and has already broken the recently retired Cesc Fàbregas‘ record of being Arsenal's youngest senior team debutant.
Reports indicate that Arteta intends to incorporate Nwaneri in the senior team for the new season. This could mean Partey's exit from the club as well, seeing as the signing of Rice is almost complete.
This remains speculative, however, but Partey's absence from the Arsenal pre-season images is telling, as is his silence on social media.
Should Partey depart Arsenal in the summer of 2023, he would leave after making 99 appearances, scoring five goals and providing four assists. He has won no trophies with the Gunners.
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 months ago