Mikel Arteta has been backed to axe an Arsenal star in January amid a worrying trend, and the player’s likeliest next club has been named.
The Gunners spent big over the summer in an effort to erase the gap between they and Manchester City. David Raya arrived initially on loan, while Jurrien Timber, Declan Rice and Kai Havertz cost a combined £208m in transfer fees.
Rice has slotted straight into the holding midfield role, with Arteta favouring Martin Odegaard and one of Havertz or Fabio Vieira either side.
That left Thomas Partey without a role in midfield and the Ghanaian was shunted over to right-back in the season’s early going.
However, the 30-year-old is currently sidelined with a groin issue in the latest of a long line of injury absences that have plagued his time in north London.
Arsenal fielded enquiries from the Saudi Pro League for Partey over the summer. Italian giant Juventus also registered interest, though a move obviously did not come to pass.
However, Juventus are understood to be prepared to reignite their pursuit in January on the back of Paul Pogba’s provisional suspension. The Frenchman recently failed an anti-doping test that could result in his Juve career being cut short.
Football Insider reported Partey is ready to quit the Gunners if not restored to their strongest starting eleven when fit.
Now, per pundit Gabby Agbonlahor, Arsenal would be wise to cash in when the winter window opens its doors.
Explaining why, the former England international pointed to Partey’s chequered injury history that in his mind, will only get worse now Partey is into his 30s.
Partey’s time in north London coming to an end?
“I would let him go,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider. “Some games he’s poor, some games he’s very good, and some games he is injured.
“When you sit down and work it out, is he giving you more than 50 percent of a season of his best football? Is he doing enough?
“If I was Arsenal I’d sell him if the money’s right. I think they were trying during the summer.
“I would look at a long-term replacement because as much as he’s a good player, the injuries will just get worse the older he gets.”
If Arsenal greenlight Partey’s sale it’s Juventus who look the best bet to secure his services.