Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone insists he has no qualms with the fact that Thomas Partey left for Arsenal after the Gunners triggered his release clause.
Ghana international Partey was a stunning deadline-day coup for Arsenal, costing £45million in a late move.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has explained at length his admiration at his superiors for pulling the deal off, with the 26-year-old the latest in a string of Atletico stars to leave through their exit clauses.
Indeed, Lucas Hernandez left for Bayern Munich in 2019 along with Barcelona-bound Antoine Griezmann. What’s more, Manchester City brought in Rodri by paying his release clause.
Previous reports claimed Simeone was furious at Arsenal for signing Partey. But speaking in Friday’s press conference, the Argentine insists he can hold no grudges.
“I keep thinking Lucas’ exit was very important,” Simeone said (via Goal). “He was a boy from the academy, with a lot of strength and a future, as we see with his national team, but we can’t give many opinions against situations involving these clauses.
“Everything that happens to the boys who gave me a lot of things at the club makes me happy. Thomas is a boy I remember from when he played in the B team with Saul [Niguez].
“We started to bring him up, it took a lot out of him, he went to Almeria and it was difficult for him to find stability in the club. He’s an incredible player and we wish him the best.”
In a separate deadline-day deal, midfielder Lucas Torreira left Arsenal for Atletico on loan for the season.
The Uruguayan had fallen down Arteta’s pecking order and was keen to find game time elsewhere.
According to Simeone, the 23-year-old’s arrival will bring several strengths to his team.
“I’m not going to talk about what we win or lose with Thomas because he’s not here,” the manager said.
“What Lucas will be able to bring to the team is vitality, dynamism in the middle. He comes from a time when he was not playing and he does so with great excitement.”