Premier League • England

Edu told Arsenal ‘can’t rely’ on midfielder and January transfer window signing should be a priority

Arsenal transfer boss Edu has been told that the club cannot rely on Thomas Partey and need to sign a midfielder in January to compete with the Ghana star.

The Gunners are currently a point clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table after sweeping past north London rivals Tottenham 3-1 on Saturday.

Partey scored the opening goal in that game with a fine curling strike from 20 yards. He went on to be named Man of the Match by Arsenal fans for his performance.

However, BT Sport pundit Jermaine Jenas still believes Arsenal need to strengthen their midfield in the new year.

Speaking specifically about Partey, Jenas told Vibe with Five: “You can’t rely on him.

“If I was Edu that would be the first position I’m going for in January, or the summer [transfer window], because you can’t rely on him.

“He is very important and you see the difference when he’s in there. But the minute this thing starts to crumble, that position, [Gabriel] Jesus, and you end up with [Eddie] Nketiah, Fabio Vieira, this is a different game we’re talking about.”

Rio Ferdinand, meanwhile, disagreed with the Gunners fans who named Partey as their star player against Tottenham.

The former Manchester United and England defender said: “How’s he even getting a shout out? He wasn’t their best player.

“He might not play three out of the next five [games]. Saliba was their best player.

“If they lose Jesus it’s curtains for them.”

Arsenal duo named as key additions

Meanwhile, Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville believes two Arsenal players have taken the team to another level.

Speaking on Monday Night Football about the Gunners’ north London derby win, Neville said: “I believe they’re a lot better than last season and you’ve got to give a lot of credit to Mikel Arteta.

“I thought they were the better team. They were more proactive and on the front foot.

“We know how Tottenham play… they did get back into it, but I think overall, if you’re a football purist now you’re seeing a lot more of the pragmatic teams losing the big games.

“The dominant team, the one who wants to go forward [are winning].”

When asked by presenter Dave Jones if their transfer dealings have made the difference, Neville added: “I think Jesus and Saliba have been huge introductions.

“They’re in a really good moment. Look, there’s a long way to go, they’ve still got to get to that point in the season where it’ll become difficult for them.

“It won’t always be rosy and that trust we’ve always said we need to see evidence of… those moments are still yet to come.

“But they’ve had a brilliant start and I’m not sure I expected that at the end of last season.”

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