The father of Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey has confirmed that, prior to his son’s Emirates switch, another pair of European heavyweights, including a direct Premier League rival, expressed an interest in his signature.
Madrid to London
The news that Gunners fans around the globe were waiting for was finally forthcoming this day last week.
This of course came in the form of Partey’s move to the club being made official.
Following a lengthy saga, spanning the majority of the summer, Mikel Arteta secured long overdue reinforcements to his side’s midfield in the final hours of the transfer window.
After Atletico Madrid first confirmed the deal, Arsenal’s announcement followed a short time later, with Partey set to ply his trade at the Emirates over the course of the season ahead:
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 5, 2020
‘We were aware…’
As outlined above, however, whilst, in the end, the transfer chiefs in north London managed to push a deal for their key midfield target over the line, had other interested parties acted sooner, Partey could have ended up elsewhere.
Speaking in an interview with My Joy Online on Monday, the Ghanaian’s father was drawn on his son’s Arsenal switch, as well as the mindset during the final weeks of his stint with Atleti.
And, though Jacob Partey confirmed that the Gunners always stood as the 27-year-old’s first choice, he also went on to reveal that London rivals Chelsea, as well as Serie A champions Juventus, were keen on his signature:
‘We actually weren’t disturbed by anything because we hoped a bigger team will come for Partey. We were aware of the [teams that were interested]: Juventus, Chelsea and so forth. So through all of this we knew God was with us. From that minute we started to dance to ‘Party after Party’.’
SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN – MARCH 03: Thomas Teye Partey of Atletico Madrid looks on prior to the start the La Liga match between Real Sociedad and Club Atletico de Madrid at Estadio Anoeta on March 03, 2019 in San Sebastian, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
Partey senior continued:
‘What I [noticed] was that he was willing to play where there is Champions League [football] but [I suggested to him that] can’t he be where there is no Champions League and help them get into the Champions League?’
‘My advice to him was irrespective of the big move, he has to keep training seriously and not lose focus. Not chase ladies so he doesn’t flop! He was very receptive of that.’
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