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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.