Arsenal's Thomas Partey is not close to a move to Saudi Arabia as his discussions with Saudi Pro League clubs are "not something advanced" at the moment, despite the genuine interest in him from sides in the Middle Eastern state, claims transfers expert Fabrizio Romano.

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Is Thomas Partey leaving Arsenal?

It has been a frankly unbelievable start to the transfer window for Arsenal so far this summer, with the club splashing the cash in a major way on several new marque signings.

So far, the club have confirmed the £65m purchase of German international Kai Havertz from cross-city rivals Chelsea and the £34m signing of Netherlands international and Ajax star Jurrien Timber.

Kai Havertz celebrates for Chelsea

The Gunners have also smashed the British transfer record to sign West Ham United captain Declan Rice, despite the club yet to announce it officially.

With all of this spending, it's perhaps not surprising to hear that some players may be on their way out of the Emirates this summer, with one name consistently mentioned over the last few weeks being midfield general Partey.

American outlet CBS Sports revealed last month that the former Atletico Madrid man was on the radar of three clubs from the Saudi Pro League; Al Nassr, Al Ahli, and Al Khaleej.

It looks like things might've progressed further than interest in the last month, as Saudi journalist Nawaf Al-Aqeel reported earlier this week that Partey was now discussing personal terms with "a Saudi club."

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However, Fabrizio Romano has since confirmed that these reports are untrue and that, at the moment, nothing has advanced regarding the interest from these few sides.

He explained the situation on his YouTube channel, saying:

"At the moment, for Thomas Partey, it's still not something advanced with Saudi clubs.

"They want him, I told you, it was an exclusive news a few days ago, a few weeks ago, but at the moment, it's still not something advanced, so let's see what happens with Thomas Partey, and then we will understand on the midfield for Arsenal."

Should Arsenal sell Thomas Partey?

It's an interesting question, as had it been asked in January, the answer from almost all quarters would likely have been a resounding no, such was his importance to the Gunners' title charge last season.

thomas-partey-arsenal

That said, as the north London side's campaign fell apart in the latter stages of the season, the Ghanaian international was often one of the players to receive most of the criticism.

Telegraph reporter Sam Dean highlighted his surprising drop in form on the Arsenal Beat Podcast (via Fansided), saying:

"Thomas Partey has dropped off a cliff in the past few games. He's forgotten how to play football in the same way, and watching him against City on Wednesday was bizarre."

That said, the 31-year-old is still a brilliant player, and his underlying numbers bear that out.

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According to FBref, who compare players in a similar position across Europe's top five leagues, the Black Stars midfielder is in the top 5% for progressive passes, the top 6% for attempted passes, the top 15% for pass completion, the top 11% for successful take-ons and aerial duals won, and the top 23% for clearances, all per 90.

If the club are looking to challenge for the Premier League yet again next season, it might be wise to keep Partey in the side as he has shown, more often than not, that he can be one of the league's best midfielders.