Thomas Partey has stood out as a potentially shrewd addition for Manchester United for over a year now.
Last night his performance for Atletico Madrid against Liverpool demonstrated why he would be a terrific signing.
Partey was the star man in midfield as Atletico earned a 1-0 win. It was teammate Saul Niguez who scored the opener, another player who has been linked with United.
One difference with Partey is that his release clause is just 50 million Euros [AS report] which works out at just £41.5 million.
Atletico’s attempts to get him to sign a new deal with a higher clause have so far been unsuccessful.
Last summer his agent told FcInterNews: “He is like Pogba, he’s a box to box player, but he is better than the Frenchman.
“That is because he does more defensive work. I feel that because he is African, he gets much less media coverage than the Manchester United player.”
After Wanda masterclass, what next?
Partey helped Atletico shut Liverpool down at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. Now he has to do it all again at Anfield in a fortnight’s time. That will be a big test.
Last night he made five tackles, more than any player on the pitch, and one interception, with 13 ball recoveries in total. To top it off he created two chances too.
He showed great awareness to be in the right place at the right time and close down space and really throw Jurgen Klopp’s side off their game, as they managed no shots on target.
Seeing him do it against Liverpool, with the form they are in, spoke volumes about his quality. This performance on the big stage was a demonstration of why top teams like United should be chasing Partey.
It’s normally so tough to sign players away from Atletico Madrid, but Partey’s cheap release clause makes a potential move viable.
With United needing a long term replacement for Nemanja Matic, he would be ideal.
The problem this performance may provide could be two-fold. Atletico will step up their desire to keep him, and competition for his signature will intensify.
It may be tough to tempt him away too, but for his price, United really need to test his resolve.
‘Get him signed up’
Fans on social media were all over the need for United to make a move for Partey. Whether the club pay attention, we’ll see…
- Is Man Utd vs Villa on TV? Kick off time, team news and prediction
- Solskjaer says de Gea has been smashing personal bests in United’s fitness tests
- Predicted Manchester United line-up v Aston Villa
- Cristiano Ronaldo’s record against Aston Villa
- David de Gea excited by Cristiano Ronaldo’s early impact