The club had attempted but failed to get the player on a lower amount as Atlético were simply unwilling to sell.
But was Thomas Partey worth this amount of upfront cash outlay from the gunners? We take a look at this player filling millions of Arsenal fans worldwide with renewed hope.
From Ghana To Spain
Thomas Partey is from Ghana and grew up in Odumase Krobo.
At age 10 he moved to Ashaiman with his father-who was a coach-in order to pursue the professional career his talent demanded.
At 18 years of age, he was offered a chance at trying out for Spanish clubs by an agent who spotted him playing.
The promise was kept true and Thomas found himself in Spain, with the prospect of playing for one of the country’s top clubs.
After spending a month with various academies, Thomas was later signed by Atletico Madrid.
Although he joined the youth team initially, manager Diego Simeone was quickly impressed by the Ghanaian’s talents.
He went through loan spells with RCD Mallorca and Almeria before finally making his first-team breakthrough at Atlético Madrid in 2015.
Simeone’s estimation of the player only grew and he too soon grew to become a key figure in the club.
He was able to average 30 starts per season since 2018.
What Arsenal Can Expect
In Partey Arsenal would be getting a perfect midfielder- one big and technical enough to handle defensive and attacking duties with equal proficiency.
Standing at 6’0” Thomas has the strength and athletic capacity to compete for the ball. He is strong enough to overpower most of the opposition players that would contend the ball with him.
He also possesses sound technical quality to facilitate ball progression and chance creation.
Under Simeone’s 4-4-1-1 formation, Partey often had to cover lots of ground as Atlético switch from defending to attacking.
The player is also excellent at direct one on one duels. His physicality allows him to dominate in close quarters. He averages 2.8 tackles per match.
The midfielder also has a high positional intelligence and awareness. This is highlighted by his 1.7 interceptions and 8.2 ball recoveries per game, putting him ahead of every Arsenal midfielder last season.
Arsenal would also be getting a gifted dribbler and ball carrier which would definitely be an upgrade on the likes of El-neny, Xhaka and to an extent, Ceballos.
Partey averaged 2.7 dribbles per 90 last term and attempted 66 take ons, which were subsequently completed at an 89% success rate. This was the highest among 348 players to attempt 50 or more take-ons last term, with Dani Ceballos (27 take-ons) his nearest competitor at Arsenal.
Partey does not only out-perform his midfield peers defensively, he is also among the best passers in the game at the moment.
Partey completed more forward passes (20), more final third passes (12) and more progressive passes per 90 (11) than Saul, Koke and Marcos Llorente respectively last season.
Thomas can drop deep and lift passes to either overlapping fullbacks or sharp attackers like Aubameyang whose excellent runs into the box are not always spotted by Arsenal players.
“Thomas is the one who best understands this position and the transition from defence to attack,” said Simeone when asked about Partey in May.
“When he’s at his best level consistently, he’s so good that all the best teams in Europe are looking at him.”
The player does have some flaws though.
Partey can be choked up in congested areas and could play loose passes as a result.
As Arsenal intend to always build from the back and suck the pressure from the opposition players, this could become a problem.
Partey also has a frustrating habit of conceding fouls when opposition players are cornered or posing little threat – something he will have to curb in future.