Thomas Partey donned the Arsenal shirt for the first time in a highly anticipated photoshoot and press conference at London Colney on Tuesday 13 October, ahead of the weekend clash with Manchester City.
Arsenal’s deadline day acquisition of Ghana midfielder Thomas Partey delighted Gunners’ fans after a long summer targeting the former Atletico Madrid player.
The £45million man went straight on international duty for his nation, so his arrival at London Colney on Tuesday was his first. Partey impressed whilst on international duty with a great assist and showed the signs of things to come in his Arsenal career.
Partey capped off a successful transfer window for Arsenal which saw a plethora of arrivals and departures from Emirates Stadium, and the arrival of Partey should hopefully be one of the final pieces of the Mikel Arteta rebuild jigsaw.
Trophy Objectives and Title Ambitions
Partey has won two trophies at Atleti and is hoping to emulate that success at Arsenal. A one-time UEFA Europa League winner and UEFA Super Cup winner, the Ghanaian is confident of winning more trophies with his new team. “Yes, of course [confident that Arsenal will win trophies]. It’s something that is difficult, and we all know that it’s difficult, but we’re working towards it and I think we are ready.
Arsenal of course have lofty ambitions and following their FA Cup and Community Shield successes recently, Arteta will be hoping for more silverware being brought to the Emirates. The ultimate goal is always the Premier League title, something that Partey much aware of, “Yes. This is our new objective [to see Arsenal as champions]. That's the objective of the club, of me myself and I think that we have to get back to where we belong.
The Gunners’ faithful will be delighted to hear the ambitions and recognition from their new man and how quickly he has taken to life as an Arsenal player, he already feels like a ‘proper Arsenal man’ which is so encouraging.
The importance of Arteta
Arsenal under Arteta feels new, fresh and there is an air of positivity and optimism around the club for the first time 2016. The immediate success he has brought to the club, on-top of high-profile signings and contract renewals has fans optimistic, feelings that Partey shares with his fans.
“He’s seen me play and he knows what I can give to the team. My previous team have done a lot and he’s seen me play and he feels that I can do the same for him.”
As a student of Diego Simeone, Arsenal know exactly the type of player they’re getting. “I think the most important thing is that I like to play in the midfield, but then wherever I need to play to help the team, I will play there and try my best to help the team.”
“Yes, he [Arteta] was very important, him and Edu told me about their plans, and it was so exciting, so I had to accept it.”
Adapting to the Premier League is no mean feat, especially in a new formation and style. “I think I have to be quick, make sure that I learn everything as fast as I can. In football, I have to make sure I do everything on the training ground and make sure Mikel sees that I am ready to play for him.”
On playing in England
“I think it was a new challenge for me. I've always wanted to play in the top leagues and the Premier League is one of the top leagues, so I'm happy to be here.”
Partey could make his debut in Saturday’s trip to Etihad Stadium in a crucial and historically difficult game for Arsenal. Partey is staying hesitant about his potential involvement in the fixture.
“For me it's a great feeling. I like to play in the big matches, but it all depends on the coach and whether he wants me to play on Saturday or not. It depends on him. I need to get used to the squad and then train with the before we can see what we will happen… [the prospect of facing Kevin de Bruyne] Well, it's the decision of Mikel. I just arrived. For me, I'm prepared but I need to get used to the style of play before I can play.”
Partey won’t be the only Ghanaian to play in the Premier League, as fellow countrymen Jordan and Andre Ayew both play in England, with Jordan playing for Crystal Palace. Partey spoke to the brothers before his arrival. “Yes. They told me it's a very difficult league but then I have the qualities to be here, so I just need to do my best and then work hard.”
“I think there is no pressure on me. I like to challenge myself, I like new challenges as I said and it's all about learning fast, learning quickly how it goes and you just get used to it and everything works.”