Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is confident Thomas Partey will remain at the Emirates despite the arrival of England star Declan Rice.
The Ghanaian midfielder has been linked with a move to Al-Ahly in Saudi Arabia, but Arteta said he remains an important part of their plans.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s pre-season clash with Manchester United in New Jersey, Arteta said: “Without a doubt, Thomas Partey is a very important player for us and for me. I want him to stay in the team.”
“Whenever I talk to him and whenever I have a conversation with him, he just wants to be with us. For me, there’s nothing.”
He said that the arrival of Rice does not mean that the role of the party will be reduced.
He added, “They can play together and that was in my plans.” “You want to improve the team and have more quality.
“We need players who can play together but we need players in the same positions who can fight for their places.
“It’s something we haven’t had in the last few years and we wanted to improve on that and that’s why we bought Declan.”
Arsenal finished second behind Manchester City in the Premier League last season, topping the table for most of the campaign – an experience Arteta believes will help his players as they look to take the next step.
“I think what happened last year was probably just learning the lessons that you need to learn to get better and be more successful and achieve what we want to achieve,” he said. “It’s part of that road and that journey.
“The level is going to go up. The teams are getting better and the league is getting stronger, it’s going to get tougher.”
“We have to get better. We have to play better and we have to do a better job than last year. That’s what we’re working on right now.”
Arteta was asked whether Arsenal would go for Kylian Mbappe amid their dispute with Paris Saint-Germain, but he declined to be involved in the discussion. “I never talk about players who don’t play for our club,” he said.
Zinchenko: Arsenal’s time is coming
Oleksandr Zinchenko, who made a huge impression in his first season after switching from Manchester City, is convinced he can make the move.
“I’ve said it many times before, I feel it and I can smell it, Arsenal’s time is coming,” he said.
“Unfortunately last season we didn’t achieve what we wanted but it was a lot of good lessons for us during the season and for sure, it will help us during the next season. I’m full of confidence so let’s see what happens.”
Arsenal’s remaining pre-season games
- 22 July: Man Utd v Arsenal, Kick-off 10 pm (MetLife Stadium, USA)
- 26 July: Barcelona v Arsenal, Kick-Off, 10 PM (Sophie Stadium, USA)
- 2 August: Arsenal v Monaco – Kick-off 6:00 pm (Emirates Stadium)
- 6 August: Arsenal v Man City – kick-off 4pm (Wembley) FA Community Shield
The Ukraine international suffered a lot off the field following the Russian invasion of his country and urged people to keep supporting his fight.
He said, “I know some people are tired of this war but we cannot give up.
“We all need to fight for our freedom, our freedom.
“Today it is Ukraine, tomorrow it could be your country. That’s why we have to stick together and fight till the end.”