The Reason Why Arsenal Signed Thomas Partey Over Houssem Aouar

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta may have less power at Arsenal than technical director Edu | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Arsenal technical director Edu appears to have more say over Arsenal transfer than manager Mikel Arteta if murmurings from France hold truth in relation to the club’s capture of Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid instead of Lyon’s Houssem Aouar.

Partey and Aouar were both linked with the Gunners over the summer. However, while Aouar was priced similarly and Lyon were gearing up to let a couple of top players leave in the closing stages of the transer window, it was Partey who made the switch to north London on deadline day.

Houssem AouarHoussem Aouar
Lyon star Houssem Aouar was heavily linked with Arsenal | Pool/Getty Images

Arsenal triggered the Ghana international’s £45m buyout clause and the move has already been deemed a success in the wake of his early performances for the club.

A report from L’Equipe, shared in English by Sport Witness, suggests that Arsenal’s decision to choose Partey over Aourar shows that Edu has ‘more weight’ than Arteta on transfers.

The implication, although not proven, is that Arteta preferred Aouar and lost out.

That isn’t to say, however, the Spaniard didn’t want Partey. Nor is it suggested that there is indeed any problem that he didn’t get his alleged first choice.

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Regardless of whether Edu may have more sway or not, Arteta has clearly still had a major input with regard to Arsenal’s ongoing squad rebuild, as evidenced by the club actively changing his job title from ‘head coach’ to ‘first-team manager’ to reflect duties and influence that go beyond simply overseeing training and picking the team on matchdays.

Therefore, any signing done without his approval is extremely unlikely.

Arteta was really pleased with the impact Partey had when he made his full Arsenal debut in the Europa League against Rapid Vienna last week, praising the way the former Atletico Madrid was able to give greater shape and structure to the team in midfield.

“I think he held the midfield by himself in the second half when we were a little more open and started to take more chances and attacking certain spaces with some players. But I think he was fantastic and there is much more to come from him,” Arteta said at the time.

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