African players Football

Thomas Partey – sublime ball competition talent (Part 2)

The back of his shirt says Thomas’s name, not his surname Partey. This is an expression of faith.

“The costume photographer asked why I didn’t choose Partey on the back of my shirt, I told him it was because my name started from Thomas, and everyone knows Thomas better. This is my Holy name.” “My parents are Christian and pray every day. When you were born into a Christian family, you had to live by its culture, and I am a believer”.

His faith also influenced his decision to choose a tattoo. Partey’s right arm has a tattoo of his face, a way to remind him to always follow his heart and be honest with himself. “I believe that every person in the world is a god. If I am a god by myself, I have to make decisions for myself and do things my way.”

In addition, there is an octopus tattoo, Partey’s nickname from the kick to Almenia in loan form. At that time, he impressed the team by winning the ball with a very long stride. “I used to say that, if it were an animal, I wanted to be an octopus,” Partey said with a smile. “They call me the Octopus, because I devour every ball on the field.”

Tackles and cuts are the highlight of Partey’s gameplay. As of August 2017, only three La Liga midfielders tackled the ball more successfully than Thomas, when he played in Atletico’s shirt. The 27-year-old midfielder is also very high in the number of successful dribbles, and he can also be a builder and a destroyer in Arteta’s scheme.

“I still want to develop myself,” Partey said. “I still want to learn more. Arteta is very important to me. He and Technical Director Edu told me about their plans and I feel very excited. I have to adapt quickly, learn everything as fast as I can. I was mentally prepared for this, but I needed to perform in the same style I used to play”.

Arteta’s approach to the match contrasts with the footballing style of Diego Simeone, the coach of Atletico – where Partey has played six seasons earlier. It will take time for the Ghanaian player to get acquainted and adapt to a new city. Thomas was discovered by Atletico in 2011 by a Ghanaian scout, and after being loaned twice, he has been with the team in red and white stripes ever since.

Going from Ghana to Spain at the age of less than 20 is a real challenge. “It’s very different, it’s colder,” said Partey. But he quickly recognized Madrid as home. His connection with the Spanish capital was so deep that he invested in a subordinate side city called Paracuellos Antamira. When Covid-19 raged in the spring, he still agreed to pay the club’s salary. Partey says a lot comes from family. He described Arsenal as a big family, and said that Arsenal fans’ passionate welcome on social media made him feel like he was here a long time ago.

African players Football

Thomas Partey – sublime ball competition talent (Part 1)

Midfielder Thomas Partey, in an interview for the first time after coming to Arsenal, reiterated his nickname “octopus” from the Almeria era because of his sublime ball competition.

In the town of Krobo Odumase, eastern Ghana, the Parteys often get up early and run up the mountains. Led by Mr. Jacob, father of five children. He wants to help his children develop strength and improve soccer skills with any tool at hand.

As the eldest son in a family of four half-brothers, from a very early age, Thomas knew what to do: “Dad wanted me to become a professional footballer,” he said. “We’re always aiming for that. He has been with us running up the mountains since dawn. We practice jumping and hitting our heads, with the ball being the leaves in the air. Father is the head coach my fairy”.

Jacob is also sure to know what he wants. He tutored Thomas since he was very young. He nurtured his son’s dream of being a player until he became a good midfielder in Europe. That journey started under the trees in the hills of Krobo Odumase, and now continues at Arsenal, where Partey just landed last week for a fee of $ 58 million.

That transfer fee means sky-high expectations for Partey. Arsenal waits for Partey’s skills and strength to help the team under Mikel Arteta become more fighting and more cohesive. “This is a new challenge for me,” Partey said in his first interview at the club. “I will never give up, even in the worst of situations. I need to work hard. I’ve been here and know that the only way to meet everyone’s expectations is to train hard and kick out”.

Partey’s way of talking in real life contrasts with courage on the field. Polite and somewhat shy, he met his new teammates for the first time on October 13, arriving at the training ground immediately after working on national duties for Ghana in Turkey. He answers questions with a smile on his face, is open and relaxed throughout the interview.

African players Football

Signs that Dortmund must sell Sancho (Part 2)

In the opposite direction, Dortmund spent $ 56 million on Emre Can and Jude Bellingham. Without selling more players, Dortmund will not be profitable from the transfer. They could lose more than $ 100 million.

The Dortmund squad currently has only two players worth more than $ 100 million, Jadon Sancho and Haaland. None of their remaining players are worth more than $ 50 million. The transfer window has only nearly a week, Dortmund is difficult to sell at the same time many players to balance their finances. The best and possibly the only way for them to cover losses is to sell Sancho or Haaland.

On August 10, Sports Director Michael Zorc announced Sancho would stay for this season. Before that, they chose August 10 as the deadline for selling players. Man Utd negotiated to recruit Sancho, but did not reach an agreement with Dortmund.

The Guardian newspaper on September 28 revealed that Man Utd is considering sending an official proposal to Dortmund for Sancho. Zorc’s statement on August 10 did not guarantee that Sancho would stay, as was the case with Ousmane Dembele summer 2017. At that time, Zorc declared “there is no way to sell Dembele” on July 4, 2017. On August 25, 2017, Barca announced the recruitment of Dembele for $ 177 million, including payments based on the player’s achievements.

Compared to Haaland, Dortmund is easier to let go of Sancho’s hand. They have many attacking midfielders that can partially replace Sancho, such as Thorgan Hazard, Marco Reus, Julian Brandt or Giovanni Reyna. In the middle position, Dortmund does not have a true striker but Haaland. Youssoufa Moukoko is rich in potential. But, he was only 15 years old, too young to play, even with Dortmund.

Dortmund still wants Man Utd to pay $ 140 million for Sancho. In the previous negotiation, the two sides only exchanged through intermediaries. Man Utd has not yet sent a question to buy directly to the German club.

“Red Devils” are still waiting to liquidate some players before buying. Andreas Pereira is going to Lazio in the next few days, while Diogo Dalot is in talks to Milan. Goalkeeper Sergio Romero and midfielder Jesse Lingard are also welcomed by many teams.

Man Utd needs Sancho more than Dortmund now. The disappointing performance in the first two Premier League matches was a warning for Man Utd. Bruno Fernandes alone is not enough to create opportunities for public goods. Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba, two pairs of defenders Luke Shaw – Aaron Wan-Bissaka have not created any chances for his teammates. Coach Ole Solskjaer needs more resilience from midfield, to bring Man Utd out of the quagmire.

African players Football

Signs that Dortmund must sell Sancho (Part 1)

For the first time since 2010, Borussia Dortmund have lost money, and they may have to sell Jadon Sancho to Man Utd to balance their finances.

Dortmund’s after-tax loss amounts to $ 51 million, in its 2019-2020 season’s financial report. After nine consecutive years of reporting profit and accumulating up to 265 million USD, Dortmund first suffered losses.

Covid-19 is only part of the reason why Dortmund suffered a heavy loss. Pandemic Dortmund reduced ticket sales 14 million, down to 38 million, rate 12%. This loss is not even equal to Man Utd’s loss in just three games without audience. Because the ticket price to enter the stadium in the Bundesliga is many times lower than in the UK.

The low ticket sales made the Bundesliga teams less affected by Covid-19. Television royalties and sponsorships increased by $ 3 million and $ 11 million, respectively. Dortmund’s revenue increased slightly by 1.4%, to $ 443 million. Their operating expenses also increased by only 3%, to $ 416 million.

The main reason why Dortmund lost last season was because the profit from player transfers dropped sharply by 52% to 47 million USD. Dortmund’s player depreciation expense also dropped by 15%, to $ 124 million. These two “punches” make Dortmund from a profit of $ 20 million in the 2018-2019 season, to a loss of $ 51 million in the 2019-2020 season. Their profit after tax decreased by up to 353%. They forecast a loss of 82 million to 88 million USD this season, or 20% of sales. In a similar way, Dortmund earned five dollars and lost six dollars.

In the past five years, excluding transfer profits, Dortmund have suffered heavy losses, $ 71 million per year. They are also the only team in the Bundesliga to maintain annual player depreciation costs of more than $ 100 million. This clause shows that Dortmund is not only the team that sells the most, but also buys the most players in the Bundesliga.

Since 2016, Dortmund always sells pillars. From Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mats Hummels, Ilkay Gundogan (2016), Ousmane Dembele, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (2017), Pulisic, Sokratis (2018) to Abdou Diallo, Paco Alcacer, Julian Weigl (2019). In the summer 2020 transfer window, they just sold midfielder Omer Toprak to earn $ 5 million.

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How many African players did MU have before bringing Ighalo?

MU is not in the habit of using African players, with striker Ighalo is a rare case. It should be noted that players from the black continent who join the Red Devils are often not very successful.

Striker Odion Ighalo became the first Nigerian player to wear a MU shirt with a six-month loan contract from Shanghai Shenhua. Before that, “Red Devil” had 6 other names from Africa throughout history.

Quinton Fortune (1999-2006)

Unlike Ighalo, Quinton Fortune never played at any club in Africa nor in his hometown of South Africa. The 1977 former midfielder started his career in Spain with Mallorca and Atletico Madrid, before moving to MU in 1999 for £ 1.5 million.

At MU, he made 76 appearances, scored 5 goals and won 1 Premier League title and 1 FA Cup, and became the longest African player in the MU shirt so far. Leaving in 2006, Quinton Fortune drifted through a few famous clubs before retiring in 2010.

Eric Bailly (2016-present)

Brought in under coach Jose Mourinho, Eric Bailly is one of the most expensive African players with a £ 30 million transfer. The Ivory Coast midfielder played an important role in the Europa League and League Cup championships of MU in the first season.

However, the constant injuries made Bailly unable to make a breakthrough in his career. He has not played for a minute this season due to still being treated for a terrible knee injury.

Eric Djemba-Djemba (2003-2005)

MU spent 3.5 million pounds for Nantes in 2003 to bring Eric Djemba-Djemba in the hope that the Cameroonian player will replace Roy Keane. However, what this midfielder left is very disappointing. 39 Eric Djemba-Djemba’s appearances have mostly come in cup tournaments or friendly matches. He left Manchester just two years later.

Mame Biram Diouf (2009-2012)

Mame Biram Diouf started as a dream at MU with a goal in his debut match with Burnley. Sir Alex Ferguson then wanted to make the Senegalese player a super substitute, like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

But unexpectedly, that goal was the only … goal of Diouf during his time at MU. The presence of Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Owen and young talent Daniel Welbeck made Diouf overshadowed.

Wilfried Zaha (2013-2015)

Wilfried Zaha was Sir Alex Ferguson’s last contract before leaving the head coach by bringing back from Crystal Palace for £ 15 million. Despite a contract for 5 and a half years, the Ivory Coast player has only made 2 appearances in the Premier League after the debut of new boss David Moyes in the British Super Cup.

Manucho (2008-2009)

Not many clubs made the transfer of players from Angola, so MU’s decision to bring in the unknown striker Manucho in 2007 caught the attention of NHM. The fans’ excitement increased after he had 4 goals in CAN 2008. However, he was troubled by a work permit, forcing MU to lend Panathinaikos.

In the end, Manucho only played once for MU before being loaned again and then sold. This year 36 years old, he is playing in the final days of his career when he joined the Spanish 3rd class team UE Cornella.