Mikel Arteta has a pivotal summer ahead as Arsenal look to plot another title challenge next season.
Not only that, but the Gunners will be competing in the Champions League which will highlight the need for more depth and quality in key areas of the squad.
One of the areas that has been highlighted as a major weakness is central midfield, with both Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka coming in for criticism towards the end of the 2022/23 season.
Their performances for the most part were good but Arsenal’s weaknesses were exploited with the pair being culprits of sloppy play at times.
That has highlighted the need to rebuild the midfield and with Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo both linked, could Thomas Partey be sold to pave the way for both players?
According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, that could be the case.
Should Arteta sell Partey?
Xhaka has already been strongly linked with a move away from the Emirates to Leverkusen this summer, with Partey potentially next out of the door.
It could be the only way Arteta can get Rice and Caicedo both through the door which may be a huge risk. For example, Partey has the experience that Rice and Caicedo lack which could be important throughout the course of the season.
The Arsenal squad already is lacking experience, having the second youngest squad in the Premier League last season and replacing players in their thirties, with players in their early twenties could have drawbacks.
That being said, looking at the numbers, you can see why Arteta is open to the transfer.
How do Rice and Caicedo compare to Partey?
Statistically, Partey had his best season in an Arsenal shirt. He boasted his highest average rating according to WhoScored with Arteta seemingly wanting longevity as opposed to experience.
For example, Rice averaged 2.1 tackles per game, the same as Partey whereas Caicedo outperformed both, averaging 2.7.
When it comes to interceptions, Rice broke up play often for West Ham, averaging 1.7 per game, with Caicedo averaging 1.5. Much more significant than Partey who averaged 0.8.
Their roles in the midfield may have been different but with Arteta looking for more balance, more energy and certainly more tenacity in his team, a midfield of Caicedo and Rice would fare much better than that of Partey and Xhaka in the long term.
Whilst Partey has clear qualities and enjoyed a productive 2022/23 campaign, Arteta is seemingly leaning on adding youth into his team with the departure of the Ghanian potentially the key to adding both Rice and Caicedo.