Arsenal's 'octopus' midfielder Thomas Partey ready to work hard

Arsenal’s ‘octopus’ midfielder Thomas Partey insists he can live up to expectations and fire them back to the top after his first day at the club since whirlwind £45m move from Atletico

  • Thomas Partey says he has the work ethic to meet expectations at Arsenal 
  • The Gunners signed the midfielder from Atletico Madrid on deadline day 
  • Partey says he is known as ‘the octopus’ because of his tackling ability

Thomas Partey knows he has a lot to live up to after joining Arsenal.

But he has been putting in the hard work he believes it will take to match their expectations since he was a child growing up in Ghana.

‘It was a moment that my father [Jacob] wanted me to be a professional, because when we were young we watched a lot of games in the Premier League and La Liga,’ Arsenal’s new midfielder, one of eight siblings said, reflecting on his early years.

Thomas Partey knows he has a lot to live up to after signing for Arsenal on deadline day

‘For him, it is a great feeling for me to achieve my dream because I have always wanted to be a footballer. He was advising us about that and also to go to school.

‘He would go out with us in the early mornings to run to the mountains. We would be jumping, heading leaves and all those things. He was my first coach.’

Arsenal sections of social media have been abuzz since the midfielder’s whirlwind deadline day, £45m arrival from Atletico Madrid and, fittingly, his new fanbase have been in Partey mood since the capture of the 27 year-old with the pun and hashtag friendly surname.

Fans are highly anticipating the midfielder’s debut after his £45m switch from Atletico Madrid

‘I wasn’t here but I felt like I was already here so it was a great feeling,’ Partey said of the reaction to his signing he has seen while on international duty ahead of his first day at Arsenal on Tuesday.

‘I know that working hard and giving all of my best in every game will determine if I live up to their high expectations.’

Arsenal saved arguably their best signing until last when they outwitted Atletico Madrid by paying his buyout clause, removing the need for negotiation, to land Partey at the death on deadline day.

He is the sort of midfield all-rounder Arsenal have been crying out for for some time with an Octopus tattoo Partey has an indication of some of the qualities he will bring.

He explained: ‘I always say, if I would be an animal, I would be an octopus. I remember when I was in Almeria they called me the octopus because I stole a lot of balls [by tackling opponents].’

Partey developed into one of Europe’s leading midfielders under Diego Simeone at Atletico

Under Diego Simeone, who further instilled the values of hard work, Partey developed into one of Europe’s leading midfielders.

Subsequently, it was little surprise they were unhappy about losing Partey, especially in the manner they did.

But in the same way he followed Simeone’s instructions to the letter to become a key cog in his well-drilled side, Partey’s only concern now is not the situation he left behind but doing the same for Mikel Arteta.

He said: ‘He [Simeone] is a different coach, his tactics are different but now I am with Mikel and I have to get used to whatever Mikel tells me to do – I think that is what will help the club.

‘It’s a great challenge and also in a great family like Arsenal. I’m ready to give it my all and try to help this great club come back to where they belong.’

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