‘Partey is just what Arsenal needed’ – Former Ghana boss Grant backing £45m midfielder to shine



A man who worked with the ex-Atletico Madrid star at international level believes a seamless transition will be made to English football

Arsenal have been told that Thomas Partey is “just what they needed”, with former Ghana coach Avram Grant backing a midfielder he knows well to thrive in English football.

The Gunners left it late before pushing through a £45 million ($58m) deal for a player that has long been linked with a switch to Emirates Stadium.

Mikel Arteta finally got his man with the summer deadline approaching, with the decision taken to activate the release clause in a 27-year-old’s contract at Atletico Madrid.

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Many had been calling on Arsenal to make such a move, with the north London giants crying out for another dominant presence in their engine room.

Partey is already being billed as the man to follow in the footsteps of iconic figures such as Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva, with similar qualities being added to the Gunners fold.

Grant believes value will be found in a big-money deal, with the former Chelsea and West Ham boss tipping a star turn that he worked with at international level to shine in the Premier League.

“From the first time I watched him, I saw a player who was very strong and good on the ball, who understands the game very well,” Grant told The Sun.

“Even when he was relatively young and inexperienced, he knew what he needed to do in terms of possession and position, how to get in the right place at the right time.

“But he’s also a very good boy, on and off the pitch, with a great character. He wants to do his job and he is very consistent.

“Thomas doesn’t tend to have good days and bad days because you know every match what you will get from him, which is his best for the team.”

The Israeli added: “He likes to be with other people but is a polite boy, quiet most of the time but prepared to say what he thinks when it needs to be said, not shouting but making his point.

“It is good for any manager to have a player like that in his dressing room.

“I’d ask the Arsenal fans to give him a few weeks just to get used to English football, because it is still played differently in the Premier League to anywhere else, even if there are more foreign players now.

“But he will prove a good signing, perfect for what Mikel Arteta is trying to do.

“When you need him to hold the ball up, he can do that and he is a great fit for what Arteta is trying to make his team.

“If you ask him to play wide, he can but it’s not his position.

“He is a central midfielder, who will win the ball and play the right pass forward and can see the pitch, tactically disciplined as well and committed to his team.

“And he will make a big difference to Arsenal, just like he did at Atletico. He is a really good signing, just what they needed.”

Arsenal, with Partey now in contention for a Premier League debut, will return to action after the international break with a testing trip to Manchester City on October 17.



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