Thomas Partey labels former Chelsea star Michael Essien his 'idol'

‘He’s a legend’: Arsenal new boy Thomas Partey labels former Chelsea star Michael Essien his ‘idol’ as Ghanaian insists ‘I have to make sure I take my moment’ in Premier League

  • Thomas Partey has high hopes during his time at Arsenal in the Premier League
  • Partey wants to emulate fellow Ghanaian Michael Essien in the top-flight
  • Partey arrived with big expectations on his shoulders in a £45million deal
  • The midfielder sustained a thigh injury during heavy defeat against Aston Villa

Thomas Partey is desperate to emulate his ‘idol’ Michael Essien in the Premier League as he adapts to life at Arsenal.

The Ghanaian star joined Arsenal in a £45million deal on deadline day from Atletico Madrid, and has impressed in the heart of midfield, especially in the victory away at Manchester United.

And as Partey continues to settle into life in north London, he has admitted he would love to follow in the footsteps of his compatriot and former Chelsea midfielder Essien, while also revealing he grew up watching the Ayew brothers and Sulley Muntari.

Thomas Partey hopes to follow in the footsteps of his idol Michael Essien in the Premier League

Essien played 256 times for Arsenal’s London rivals between 2005 and 2014, winning two Premier League titles, one Champions League, four FA Cups and one League Cup.

Partey told Arsenal’s official website: ‘He’s a fantastic midfielder. He fights for every ball, he’s a great legend. For me, he’s one of the best midfielders that we’ve ever had in Africa.

‘I think we’ve all seen what he has done at Chelsea, what he has done for the Black Stars and for me, he’s my idol.

‘I grew up watching Michael Essien, [Sulley] Muntari, the Ayew brothers – they are the people I look up to and they made a lot of impact on Ghanaians. I think this is my moment and I have to make sure I take it.’

Partey is one of Ghana’s main men at present, just like Essien was during his international career.

Essien won two Premier League titles and the Champions League during his time at Chelsea

Essien featured in three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and also represented Ghana at 2006 and 2014 World Cups.

And 27-year-old Partey is hoping he can inspire the next generation of talent coming through with Ghana just like his idol did.

‘Now most of the young guys are looking up to me and I think I have to do my best to make sure I get them to support this great family [at Arsenal],’ he added. 

‘When they support me, they’re going to feel good when they see us play.’ 

Partey however won’t be linking up with Ghana for their Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sudan over the next week as he awaits the results of a scan after sustaining a thigh injury during the harrowing defeat against Aston Villa.

Mikel Arteta brought Partey in to give Arsenal some much-needed bite to their midfield

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