Despite Arsenal coughing up his hefty release clause of £45million, new signing Thomas Partey has said he is not under pressure to deliver for the Gunners, a side that has been lacking a midfield hardman for a few years.
Partey was Arsenal’s main target over the recent transfer window, with the Gunners only making a move for their man on deadline day.
The Ghanaian is expected to bring much needed steel to the Gunners midfield, which have been regarded as soft since the departures of champion midfielders Gilberto Silva and Patrick Vieira.
Despite the high expectations, Partey says he does not feel any pressure on him.
“I think there is no pressure on me. I like to challenge myself; I like new challenges. It’s all about learning fast, learning quickly” the midfielder said.
Partey, who first caught the eye of Arsenal scouts while he was on loan at Almeria from Atletico Madrid in the 2014-15 season, compared himself to an octopus, an animal he was compared to because of his ball winning skills.
“I always say, if I would be an animal, I would be an octopus,” he remarked. “I remember when I was in Almería they called me ‘the octopus’ because I stole a lot of balls.”
The midfielder has spoken of his long-lasting love affair with the Gunners, a period that stretched from the Invincibles era. A move to Arsenal is particularly pleasing to his father, a man who mentored him in the early years of his career.
“For him, it is a great feeling for me to achieve my dream,” he says. “It was always about football. 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.”
The Ghanaian, who is fresh from providing two assists for the Black Stars in an international friendly against Qatar, also spoke of his belief that everyone had inner-greatness and could thus shape their own destiny.
“I believe that everyone on earth is a god. I think if I am a god to myself, it is important that I choose all my own decisions and make everything work for me on my way.”