Thomas Partey names five Arsenal legends he idolised while watching Gunners as a child | Football | Sport
new-boy Thomas Partey has revealed the five players he idolised when he grew up watching his new side. The Ghana international joined the north Londoners on transfer deadline from Spanish giants Atletico Madrid.
After initially being reluctant to meet his release clause, the Arsenal brass decided to fork out the £52.5million Atletico demanded for the midfielder.
Partey, 27, has penned a four-year contract at the Emirates, where he’ll earn a whopping £260,000 per week.
The defensive midfielder is champing at the bit to get his Arsenal career underway, an eagerness which has in part stemmed from his following of the club when he was a youngster.
“I feel so great, excited, it is something that makes me feel great, makes me feel important and it is a great feeling to be here,” Partey told Arsenal’s official website. “I have followed Arsenal for a long time.
“When we were young we used to watch so many games, when they had the Invincibles season in 2004, they were so great. That is when they won the hearts of so many people.”
The stars of Arsenal’s legendary Invincibles team will be forever imprinted on Partey’s mind, as well as Arsenal’s former record goalscorer Ian Wright.
“There were a lot of great players [here at the club] before,” Partey said of his new club. “Ian Wright was here, Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, [Robert] Pires, [Dennis] Bergkamp was one of the greatest, and that season was great.”
The arrival of Partey has given Arsenal some much-needed combativeness in the heart of their midfield.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has been thrilled by the club’s acquisition of the Ghanaian, saying: “We have been watching Thomas for a while, so we’re now delighted to add such a high-quality player to our squad. He is a dynamic midfielder with great energy.
“He brings a lot of experience from a top club that has competed at the highest level in La Liga and the Champions League for several years.
“We’re very impressed with his attitude and his approach to the game. He’s an intelligent footballer and we’re looking forward to him integrating into our system and contributing to the progress we’re building at the moment at the club.”
That enthusiasm is shared by Arsenal’s technical director, Edu, who added: “Thomas has all the right attributes to be a top player for Arsenal.
“He is a leader on and off the pitch and he is exactly the kind of player and person we want at the club.
“We already feel like we know Thomas very well based on the work we have done analysing his performances closely in recent times. With his all-round game and positive aggressive style, he will be a brilliant addition to our squad.
“We’ve made a strong start to the season and we want to continue to build on this with Thomas now part of our club.”
Partey could make his Arsenal debut on Saturday when the Gunners travel to the Etihad Stadium take on Premier League title hopefuls Manchester City.