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Michael Essien: Thomas Partey is ‘a very complete midfielder’ Arsenal have needed for a long time

Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien believes Arsenal made a great decision in signing his fellow Ghanian claiming he is the kind of player the club has needed since the end of Arsene Wenger’s reign. 

Partey joined the Gunners from Atletico Madrid for £45m on the summer transfer deadline day and has since been impressive for Mikel Arteta’s side. 

Essien is, however, not surprised that the 27-year-old adapted quickly at the Emirates as the former Chelsea maestro claims Partey is a complete talent that Arsenal have long lacked in the midfield. 

“I know him, I have seen him play a couple of times and we do talk now and then,” the 37-year-old Essien revealed in an interview with Goal. “If he has any questions, he can always contact me for my thoughts – except when he plays Chelsea.

“But I wish him well and I am looking forward to seeing him do very well for Arsenal. They have made a great signing by bringing my countryman to take on the Premier League.

“He is more of a typical No.6 than me. He is very good on the ball, wins duels, has good speed, reads the danger well and he is a very complete midfielder.

“When I arrived in England, Arsenal were very tough, with Gilberto Silva and a great midfield, so it was a tough team to play against. But I think the Arsenal I played towards the end of my career could have done with a player like Thomas Partey.

“I think it is a great move for him too, though. Arsenal is a great club. The Premier League is also brilliant, so it will help him to improve his game as well.”

Partey will be expected to make his fourth appearance and his third consecutive start in all competitions for Arsenal when they face the Red Devils at Old Trafford on Sunday. 

However, Essien who enjoyed many good memories during his nine-year spell at Chelsea also revealed to Goal that he could have joined rivals Manchester United at a much younger age but had his move blocked on two occasions. 

“I had the chance to go to Manchester United when I was 17,” he explained. “I went twice for trials and I passed them. But I couldn’t get the work permit.

“I went to France instead and when I came to Chelsea, I had Man United after me as well, but only Chelsea could afford me in the end.

“So, that’s what happened and Jose Mourinho was very persuasive in the end, anyway!”

The 37-year-old Ghanian is now with Danish Superliga outfit FC Nordsjaelland as a player-assistant as he takes his first steps into the world of coaching

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