At exactly 22:15GMT the tweet from Arsenal announcing Partey went up and it was met with wild delirium. With the hashtag, #NoThomasNoPartey, the tweet did wild numbers.
The unveiling video, a simple stack of Partey’s photos that had formed a digital intaglio with patches of Ghana’s flag and laced with an African soundtrack. Partey’s unveiling was quiet, calm but hit the necessary spots and pleased the many Arsenal fans who had implored their club all through the summer and early autumn to acquire his services.
Welcome to the Partey! 🥳
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 5, 2020
The dust has settled – on deadline day but it looked like a really long way from completion minutes, hours, days ago. The top hierarchy at Arsenal played a blinder on deadline day to get their man.
In Spain, most transfers are done when the interested party meets the release clause of the player spelled on him by the club. It makes things fairly easier this way and the Gunners used that route to full effect.
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 6, 2020
The £45m clause was met and in no time the player was already in the hospital having a medical. So much for a player who was still lacing his boots on the dusty pitches of Tema a decade ago.
January 2015, while the Black Stars were in Equatorial Guinea for the African Cup of Nations, Partey was still strutting his stuff in Almeria – on loan from Atletico Madrid. But even then, there was so much talk about him.
Avram Grant, who was the then coach of Ghana had received backlash from the few who had watched him but the calls had failed to gather any proper steam. Partey was still an unfamiliar name then. He knew he could play but not many did.
In that same year, he got into the Atletico Madrid fold proper. His career took off from there. Slowly, steadily he has become one of the continent’s most important players.
The midfielder made 188 appearances for the Rojiblancos where he scored 16 times and assisted 12 times. He won a trophy there too – two of them actually if we decide to add the ceremonial Spanish super cup.
Partey has been compared so much to former Chelsea man, Michael Essien – a man he reveres. The two have similar playing styles but the latter was the more boisterous of the two.
The new Arsenal man’s style is calm. In midfield, he has played in several positions. At Atletico he was deployed mainly in a defensive midfield role – mopping up the trouble right before it gets to the defenders and sometimes as a central midfielder. For the Black Stars, he has played in attacking roles. Sometimes as the team’s playmaker.
A very good example of Partey in that role was the game against Congo at the Kintele Stadium in a run up to the 2018 World Cup where Ghana failed to qualify. He hit a hat-trick in that game and had a hand in the other two as the Black Stars trounced them 5-1. It is therefore never in doubt that Partey will have his time in Arsenal’s midfield and become a mainstay in there. Torriera, Guendouzi sales have created spaces in which the new man will walk into thereby toppling Egyptian Mohammed Elneny.
At 27, Partey comes in as a finished product with a great deal of experience and will possess the steel Arteta needs in his midfield to thrive a very unpredictable league. The dynamism he brings to that midfield is why they are paying him £230,000-a-week.
Aside from the fact that his name will be on the end of many puns from commentators, Partey’s acquisition to an extent makes commercial sense. With a huge fan base in Africa and for the many Africans who live in North London and across the UK, he could be their poster boy.
Partey might have woken up this morning and looked back at all of this with a smile. It has been a long journey from Krobo Odumase to Ashaiman and then to London via Madrid.
There is a new Ghana boy in the Premier league everyone is waxing lyrical about and his name is Partey. Thomas Partey.
By Yaw Ofosu Larbi|3news.com|Ghana