Thomas Partey set for Arsenal squad number change

Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey has been tipped to take the number five shirt at the Emirates Stadium for the upcoming season, trading down from the number 18 jersey he initially wore following his 2020 transfer from Atletico Madrid.

Partey completed a £45m move from Atletico last October. But his favoured number five was unavailable at the time as it was occupied by Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

The Ghanaian had worn number five at Atletico for three seasons prior to his Arsenal move and, with Sokratis vacating it when he left for Olympiacos in January, writes that the Ghanaian wants to change and is ‘very likely’ to be in the shirt when the new season begins.

Partey had also previously worn number five during a season on loan at Mallorca early in his career and has had that shirt for Ghana ever since he made his international debut in 2016.

Partey previously wore number five for Atletico Madrid | Denis Doyle/Getty Images

A handful of what might be considered ‘premium’ Arsenal shirt numbers are available this summer.

Number 10 was vacated by Mesut Ozil when he left to join Fenerbahce in January, while number eight is free having been worn for two years by Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid.

Martin Odegaard’s return to Real after his loan expired has similarly vacated number 11. That shirt was previously also worn by Lucas Torreira, but the Uruguayan is expected to be sold after a loan at Atletico rather than return to north London, with Lazio now linked.

Arsenal showed tremendous faith in Bukayo Saka in 2020 by handing the home-grown talent the number seven shirt and it could be that similar happens with Emile Smith Rowe this summer.

Could Emile Smith Rowe be Arsenal's new number 8, 10 or 11? | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

The 20-year-old played 37 first-team games in 2020/21, while Arsenal are thought to have rejected a £25m offer from Aston Villa and are hopeful of tying him down to a new contract.

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

Source : 90min