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'He's fantastic' - Partey tipped to make 'big difference' at Arsenal after £45m move

13:00 BST 08/10/2020
Thomas Partey Atletico Madrid
Reading and Ghana defender Andy Yiadom speaks to Goal about his international team-mate's move to Emirates Stadium

Thomas Partey will bring far more to the Arsenal midfield than just defensive security, according to his Ghana international team-mate Andy Yiadom.

The Gunners’ new £45 million ($58m) signing is expected to make his debut when Mikel Arteta’s side travel to Manchester City after the international break.

He has arrived with the reputation of being one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe having honed his art under the disciplined eye of Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid.

But Reading defender Yiadom, who has spent the past three years playing alongside Partey with Ghana, says Arsenal have got far more for their money than just a destructive ball-winner.

“He grabs the game by the scruff of the neck,” Yiadom told Goal. “He has a lot of qualities.

“When I’ve watched Atletico, it does seem like he sits there and does the dogged work, but when he is away with us he has a lot more to his game than that. I think his record in terms of goals for Ghana (10 goals in 27 games) proves that because every time I seem to go away with Ghana he scores, so he has got that attacking threat as well.

Yiadom added: “He’s athletic, he’s really good on the ball, he’s skilful and he’s got a great set-piece in him.

“The way he keeps the ball in tight positions when you think he might lose it is really impressive. He just stands out, it’s hard to describe him as a certain type of player because I don’t think I can.

“But personally, and this is going off what I see from him in training and also the games that he has played for Ghana, I think he has the attributes for the No.8 role and to be more of a box-to-box midfielder.

“Atletico obviously are really rigid and extremely disciplined, but having trained with him, I don’t see him as a player who just dogs about and protects the defence - he has got a lot more quality to him than that.”

For Yiadom, Partey’s arrival at Arsenal means a little bit more than it just being one of his international team-mates joining him in England.

The 28-year-old - who was born in Holloway - grew up supporting Arsenal so he has extra reason to be cheerful following his friend’s move to north London.

“It’s all a bit surreal,” he admits. “It’s just a little bit crazy for me that he’s going to the club I’ve supported since I was young.

“I’m really excited that they have signed him. I think he’s a great addition and will make a big difference for Arsenal.

“He’s in his prime and is a fantastic player and I know that he will go there and do extremely well.”

Yiadom added: “Obviously it’s great that he’s in the Premier League as well because it’s a completely different dynamic for him. It’s one of the best leagues in the world and I think everybody wants to come and play here.

“I think he has all the attributes to do well in the Premier League, but also I think what people have to remember is it is the Premier League and he’s been playing in Spain for a long time.

“I know when a player of that calibre comes in to the UK everyone is expecting him to do well - and he may do well straight away - but I think people have to realise that sometimes things do take time.”