Former Ghana international Michael Essien has backed Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey to skipper the Black Stars in future. 

The 25-year-old has become a key player for four-time Africa champions since making his debut for the side against Mauritius in 2016.

He has for some time now been acting as the stand-in captain of the side in the absence of Asamoah Gyan and his assistance Andre Ayew. 

The former Tema Youth player led the Black Stars team in the double-header international friendly matches against Japan and Iceland in June. 

And according to Essien, Partey is a candidate for the team's armband after exhibiting qualities of a leader in the two games.

“There are good players in the team but I think Partey is doing great and he can lead the team,” he told TV3.

“He is doing wonderful with his Club and the National team as well, he captained the team on a few occasions and I think he will be a good leader.”

Partey has racked up 17 appearances for the Black Stars, scoring seven goals. 

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