Arteta: Arsenal signing Partey proof of Kroenke’s trophy intent

Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal’s £45million deadline-day deal for Thomas Partey is proof the club’s owner is determined to challenge for major honours.

Stan Kroenke has previously been criticised by supporters for a lack of investment in the team. The most recent example of that came during a match at Aston Villa in July when a plane towing a banner that read “Back Arteta, Kroenke Out” flew over the stadium.

Arteta, for his part, has always insisted he has the full support of Arsenal’s owner.

Arsenal signed Partey, who is set make his debut at Manchester City on Saturday, with minutes to spare before the transfer window closed after paying Atletico Madrid his £45m release clause. Arteta said: “It is good that sometimes words are not enough.

“I think you asked me the day before or two days before [the transfer window shut] if I felt we had the backing and the right connections with the ownership, if they were involved and willing to do as much as possible to help the squad. I said yes and that I was very, very convinced about that.

“Even if that [signing Partey] wouldn’t have happened, I would have still said the same thing. But they showed this time, with big funds, they are really committed.”

The only issue with signing Partey is that it took Arsenal’s non-homegrown quota in their squad to 19, which is two above the 17 allowed by the Premier League and UEFA.

As a result, Mesut Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos were left out of the Gunners’ squad for the Europa League and are due to be omitted from the Premier League one, too — which must be submitted on October 20.

It leaves the pair with the prospect of not playing until January, but Arteta is not worried about their attitude becoming an issue. “I don’t doubt the professionalism of the players. I already spoke to them and told them,” he said.

“It was a difficult conversation but this is the issue that we have. We tried to resolve that, tried to get players opportunities elsewhere. We weren’t able to do that and now it is just about trying to keep them motivated.”

Arsenal were on Friday morning due to learn if Kieran Tierney could feature in tomorrow’s match.

The left-back has been in quarantine after being deemed to have been in close contact with Scotland team-mate Stuart Armstrong, who tested positive for coronavirus.

Tierney has, however, since tested negative and Arsenal have lobbied health authorities to see if he can play.

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