Chelsea legend Joe Cole believes his former club should make a move for Atletico Madrid star Thomas Partey.
Arsenal have been heavily linked with the Atletico midfielder this summer. He has a release clause of around £44.5m, but the Gunners are yet to secure his services.
The 27-year-old has been a key figure for the Spanish giants in recent seasons. The defensive midfielder came through Madrid’s academy, before making his senior debut in 2015.
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Since then, he has made 187 appearances for them in all competitions. Partey was a mainstay in Diego Simeone’s side last season, as he featured in 35 La Liga games.
Partey has also been capped 27 times for Ghana. He has scored ten goals for their senior team since he earned his first cap in 2016.
Along with Houssem Aouar, Partey is believed to be Arsenal’s main target this summer. But to fund a deal, Arteta needs to sell a few of their fringe players.
With the Gunners taking time over a deal, Chelsea could be about to swoop to sign Partey ahead of Arsenal. The Sun have reported that the Blues are considering a move for Partey as an alternative to Declan Rice.
Cole was speaking about Chelsea on BT Sport prior to Saturday’s game against Crystal Palace. He praised the signing of Thiago Silva, while also suggesting that Partey would be a ‘fantastic’ purchase:
“I think Thiago Silva is a fantastic signing. One thing we talked about with Chelsea last season was the quality of the youngsters. But there were times when there was a little bit of naivety in the back four.
“When you look around Europe, there is not a better veteran centre half who can come in and not just perform, but help the players around him on and off the pitch by setting the tone of what winning is all about.
“Any young manager coming in, you want to sort your goalkeeper and your back four. Last season Frank [Lampard] did not have the luxury of doing that.
“So as soon as possible Frank will want to nail down the goalkeeping position and the back four. Then he will want to just tinker with that midfield, and Partey would be a fantastic signing.”
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