Arsenal legend Ray Parlour has claimed that Thomas Partey's position may come “under threat” after the signing of Declan Rice but has warned of the risk it would be to lose the Ghanaian and Granit Xhaka in the same window.
What's the latest Arsenal news?
The big news this week is that the Gunners have finally announced the £100m (plus £5m in potential add-ons) for West Ham United's captain.
Rice has since penned an emotional goodbye message to his now-former club, while the Hammers seemed rather bitter about the whole affair, failing to even name Arsenal when officially confirming the news on their website.
It will be interesting to see how the 24-year-old slots into the middle of the park alongside fellow midfield signing Kai Havertz, with the club's only other outgoing so far being Granit Xhaka.
No doubt, Rice will be expected to start but that will leave questions over Partey's role in the team, with both men tending to play the deepest midfield position.
One man who knows all about competition for places at a big club is Parlour. After all, he played 449 games for the Gunners over the course of his career and was part of the Invincibles.
While speaking in an exclusive interview with Football Fancast, in partnership with Genting Casino, the former midfielder explained his thoughts on the current situation.
He said: "If you are a top team, you can't worry about transfers coming in. When a new player comes in, you've got to say: 'I’m better than you', and just train and prove it on the pitch – that’s all you’ve got to do.
"When you get your opportunity, you play so well that the manager can't drop you next game.
"[Arsene] Wenger was very fair with me. He said, 'Ray, if you play well, you’ll play the next game'. And I think that's the mentality you have. If you don’t play well, you’re under threat."
Speaking on how the new transfer could shake things up, he added: “I mean, Declan Rice comes in, Partey’s under threat obviously but that's what you want. You want competition for places. It keeps you on your toes."
What's the latest Thomas Partey transfer news?
With Xhaka already leaving, Mikel Arteta's midfield will look quite different next season but it could see even greater change in the coming weeks.
After all, Partey could be leaving this summer with Juventus reportedly his preferred destination if he does depart. Although Saudi teams such as Al Ahli and Al Khaleej are also in the race.
Despite his position at Arsenal being under threat, and potential suitors ready to swoop, Parlour has warned that it would be a "big gamble” to lose the 30-year-old.
Indeed, while he noted that Oleksandr Zinchenko could also help step into that role – "he’s probably better in midfield if I’m being honest" – the club legend still queried the wisdom of letting two key players leave from the same part of the pitch in one summer.
“It’s a big gamble because Xhaka has been brilliant last year, the best season he had probably," Parlour said. "Partey is very important. For three-quarters of a season, he’s brilliant, Partey. A perfect player. "
“But the problem is in football these days, you've got to balance the books.
“They’ve got to make a decision, whether they give him another big bumper contract. Or he says: 'Nah I’ll take the money and go there'. It’s down to the player really. If the player says: 'Look I'm going to go to Saudi Arabia', you can’t stop him."
It will certainly be interesting to see how this particular situation resolves itself for Arsenal over the coming months.