Arsenal need a player with the steel of Thomas Partey instead of the creativity of Houssem Aouar, according to Premier League commentator Ian Darke.
Atletico Madrid midfielder Partey has been linked with a move to Arsenal throughout the summer transfer window but the Gunners have not yet been willing to pay the 27-year-old’s £45million release clause. Meanwhile, Lyon star Aouar has emerged as a target for Mikel Arteta in recent weeks.
Arsenal have had a player-plus-cash offer turned down for Aouar, with Matteo Guendouzi not the “profile” of player Lyon want in return.
The Frenchman is a more attacking midfielder than Partey but Darke believes the re-signing of Dani Ceballos can fill that void.
And therefore he believes adding a more defensive-minded player like Partey would be the better option for Arteta.
“I think they need a little bit of steel in the middle of the pitch, so I think Partey would be a very good signing for Arsenal,” Darke told ESPN FC.
“I know they’re very keen, but they can’t seem to get that deal done.
“They’ve got Ceballos back of course from Real Madrid, and he did well in the back end of last season, but in a more creative way.
“Both are good players, but I think of the two, I’d say Partey.”
Arsenal visit Fulham in their first match of the Premier League season on Saturday.
Arteta should be able to call upon the services of his two new Brazilians in Willian and Gabriel Magalhaes for the trip across London.
Darke is positive ahead of the new season for the Gunners and expects them to finish in the top four.
“I’ve got them finishing fourth,” he added. “I think Arteta’s changed the mentality of that club completely.
“I think you’ve seen it three times now, every time at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final, the FA Cup final and then the Community Shield against good opposition, I think they’re a different side now.
“I think they do have that capability to go out every week and be pretty consistent as well if they can keep everybody fit.
“They might need to add one or two more between now and October 5 but I can see Arsenal maybe being the surprise team and making the top four ahead of slightly more-fancied rivals [Chelsea].”