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01-Nov-2020, 08:30 pm

Arsenal new boy Partey: I want to attack like Yaya and defend like Essien

Michael Essien, Thomas Partey, Yaya Toure

Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey says he wants to be like former Manchester City star Yaya Toure and Chelsea legend Michael Essien by excelling in both attack and defence.

The Ghana international joined the Gunners from Atletico Madrid on the final day of the transfer window in a deal worth £45 million ($58m).

The 27-year-old has been tipped to become a star for Mikel Arteta's side and he hopes to strengthen his side moving forward as well as the defence.

"I like to be both defensive and offensive. I know whenever I am in the opposite area, I have chances for a goal and I think defensively, I want to be stronger,” he told Sky Sports.

"I want to attack like Yaya Toure and defend like Michael Essien so to have both qualities is good.

"Whenever there is a serious game, or in any game, I like to go with surprises. Most people see me as a defensive midfielder but with my intelligence and how I read the game, if we're near the end of the game and we're going to finish with 2-0, that's when I go for my goal.

"Playing in the midfield, you have to be mentally quick and be intelligent in how you position yourself and get the ball.

"Mikel Arteta is helping me a lot because we always have the ball so you have time to think and position yourself and I think with time, I'll get used to everything and most things will come after that. I think everybody will know and we'll see what will happen."

Partey made 188 appearances for Atletico, having been handed his debut by Diego Simeone in 2015.

The Argentine had a big impact on his development, encouraging him to be the best he can be.

"Simeone has helped me a lot. Before, I was just a good player but then he spoke to me and said: 'If you want to be among the best, you have to be the best. Every good player is good offensively but not all players are good defensively', so he gave me that," he said.

"This is what we at Arsenal are working on defensive qualities as a midfielder. I only arrived three weeks ago and I think at the moment, I'm adapting with the positioning and after that, I'll continue working hard on how to move freely.

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