Premier League • England

Arsenal line up January signing of Thomas Partey replacement after stunning deadline day approach

Thomas Partey playing for Arsenal and Martin Zubimendi for Real Sociedad

Arsenal could replace Thomas Partey with Martin Zubimendi

Arsenal held talks on deadline day regarding the signing of Martin Zubimendi from Real Sociedad, which could now take place in January, a report has revealed.

Zubimendi has been identified as someone who could replace Thomas Partey in Mikel Arteta’s squad. Indeed, the source that has revealed their interest has confirmed that he would only be able to join Arsenal if Partey was to leave.

The news has come from FootballTransfers, which claims Arsenal got in contact about a deal for Zubimendi on deadline day. They were in touch with his representatives, rather than his current club.

Nevertheless, they have set the wheels in motion for a potential January swoop for the Spaniard. According to the report, a winter deal is potentially on the cards in the event of Partey leaving.

How likely that is remains to be seen. By January, there will only be 18 months remaining on Partey’s contract at the Emirates Stadium.

This season, he has occupied the hybrid role between right-back and midfield in Arsenal’s fluid new system. However, there have been calls by some observers for Arteta to stop overcomplicating things.

In other words, Arsenal could revert to the 4-3-3 formation they used last season, in which Partey was one of the main defensive midfielders, next to Granit Xhaka and behind Martin Odegaard.

Xhaka has since left and been replaced by Declan Rice, while Arsenal also have Mohamed Elneny and Jorginho in the department – if they can prevent the latter from joining Fenerbahce.

Zubimendi could become long-term Partey successor

Partey’s place in Arteta’s plans became apparent again over the summer after the manager denied any expectation of him leaving. It remains to be seen if the 30-year-old’s situation progresses.

The younger Zubimendi has spent his entire career so far in the Real Sociedad setup. Still only 24 years old, he is closing in on 150 appearances for their first team.

He has played in the Europa League during three seasons and is stepping up to Champions League level – like Arsenal – this term.

La Real still have their academy graduate under contract in San Sebastian until 2027.

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