John Barnes speaks about Arsenal’s transfer activity

Transfer season is in full swing and one club that is in the news for its reported moves is Arsenal. The Gunners have been linked to a plethora of players and as per reports, are close to landing the likes of Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber and Declan Rice.

A few of Mikel Arteta’s men, however, have also been linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium with Thomas Partey being a surprise name in there. We got a few words with John Barnes who gave his thoughts on Arsenal’s transfer activity.

arsenal transfer stadium

IMAGO / Zink

Partey being sold would surprise me

The Liverpool icon expressed his surprise at the rumours linking Thomas Partey with a move away from Arsenal as in his opinion, he’s the Gunners’ best defensive midfielder.

“Arsenal potentially selling Thomas Partey would surprise me because I think he’s their best defensive midfield player.” 

“Xhaka has been playing more advanced this season with Partey in a deeper role and he protects the back four very well.”

Barnes thinks that Partey could be on the selling list because he could have attitude issues like Joao Cancelo had at Man City. Or because if Declan Rice comes in, he would unseat Partey in the starting XI.

“Why? I don’t know. Is it a personality thing with Partey?” 

“Partey has done really well for Arsenal but it could be similar to Cancelo with Manchester City and Pep.”

“We don’t know the ins and outs of it but I am surprised because he’s a strong defensive midfielder.” 

“Declan Rice could be coming in so they may decide Rice is the best option going forward.”

Arsenal will be the best thing for Declan Rice

West Ham captain Declan Rice’s transfer has become a saga of sorts with Manchester City reportedly trying to hijack the deal.

According to Barnes, Arsenal is a better option for the English midfielder as he doesn’t think City would give Rice preference over Rodri.

“I don’t think Manchester City are interested in Declan Rice because they’ve got Rodri and I don’t think Pep wants two holding midfielders.” 

“Arsenal have made two bids for which will probably get up to £100m so Arsenal makes more sense. Not because they’re better than City but because Arsenal are more interested and I think he wants to go to Arsenal. That will be the best thing for him.” 

“Rice will fit into Arsenal’s way of playing in that holding midfield role. £100m for Rice means he goes straight into that Arsenal team as the holding midfielder. Protecting that back four and bringing solidity which is what the Arsenal team needs.”

“Lavia is young and he’s a good player. Declan Rice is the number one target.” 

Kai Havertz would be a great signing for Arsenal

With Kai Havertz’s move to Arsenal in the final stages, Barnes expressed his approval of the deal. In his opinion, the German fits in best when playing behind the striker and he can also play a deeper role.

‘Havertz has a good attitude. He has been playing behind the striker which doesn’t really suit him but I think he’s best behind the striker.” 

“You’re talking about him behind Jesus or he can play deeper. He’s a hard worker with good technique and ball retention. He would be a great signing for them.” 

“If they’ve agreed a £65m fee and both sides are happy then it’s a good deal.”