Arsenal new-boy Thomas Partey may have risked the wrath of his new fans after heaping praise on a former Chelsea star.
Ghanaian Partey arrived at the Emirates in a £45m deal from Atletico Madrid on transfer deadline day to much fanfare and celebration from the Arsenal faithful.
However, following an official Q&A with the player, some might been surprised to hear him make a point of his admiration for former Blues star and compatriot Micheal Essien.
When asked who his hero was, Partey stated: “Micheal Essien because he is one of the best players Ghana has ever had”.
Going further, when asked to name his pick for the greatest footballer ever, Partey also said Essien: "because he is my hero and he is my idol."
Arsenal fans may be prepared to forgive Partey given the country connection between the two players.
Essien played 249 times for Arsenal’s London rivals, winning two Premier League titles and the Champions League in his nine seasons at the club.
The midfielder also scored a memorable long-range effort against the Gunners in a 1-1 draw in 2007.
Gunners fans will hope to get their first glimpse of Partey, and whether he can emulate his hero Essien, when they face Manchester City in the Premier League.
Speaking earlier in the week, manager Milkel Arteta was optimistic about the midfielder making his debut at the Etihad.
“He was here just yesterday, getting familiar with everything around the club.” Arteta said in his pre-match press conference. “Today he will have his first training session. Everything has to come really quickly for him.
“We knew that before we signed him. But he's fit, he's very willing to start playing. We will see how he goes in the next few days.”
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