Thomas Partey says he wants to show Arsenal he is more than just a defensive midfielder once he gets fully adjusted to life at the club.
Partey arrived at Arsenal on deadline day and has already made an impression in his three appearances so far.
During his time with Atletico Madrid, Partey was a shield for the backline and it is hoped he will bring that security to Mikel Arteta’s team.
Under Arteta, Arsenal have had a conservative approach to games which means they’ve struggled to create chances.
Partey was not known for his goals in Spain with Atletico but it appears he is eyeing more freedom to get forward at the Emirates.
Arsenal will need Partey to be at his defensive best when they face in-form Manchester United at Old Trafford.
But speaking ahead of the match Partey declared he wanted to emulate Yaya Toure and Michael Essien at Arsenal.
He told Sky Sports: “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. 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.
“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.
“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.
“You don’t always have to be positioned as the coach said, you have to be free and create spaces because you are on the field and know what is going to happen.
“With confidence and understanding your team-mates, you’ll be able to put all of that into the game.”
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