Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey has summed his debut English Premier season with Arsenal as “average” but is promising improvement next season.
The Ghana international joined Arsenal on the final day of the summer transfer window in a £45 million ($58m) deal from Atletico Madrid and the expectations hit the roof.
However the assistant Black Stars captain suffered a string of injuries which limited him to just 24 appearances in all competitions and the 28-year-old agrees his debut season could have been a lot better.
“I think everybody has seen it, up and downs, we had good times and bad times, but you know this is my first season and I think I had to adapt to how they play, get used to my mates and I think now I’m getting used to them and I know with hard work, everything will be okay for the next season.
“It’s not easy, that’s one of the best leagues in the world and if you want to be there, you have to be able to do everything good, so I like this challenge and I’m ready to do everything,” he added whilst speaking to TV3.
Many were of the view that Arsenal rushed him back on the pitch when it was evident he needed more time recuperate. One incident that further ingrained the perception was in the North London derby when Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was seen pushing Partey back onto the pitch despite nursing a knock and heading for the touchline.
Mikel Arteta explained after the derby, he did that in an attempt to prevent Harry Kane’s successful strike on the stroke of half-time.
Thomas Partey explained the situation wasn’t as bad as thought.
“I think people misunderstood that situation, I remember when I first took the ball from one of the Spurs players, and I felt my cord and then I was walking straight to the bench and I didn’t know what happened, so I saw them attacking us – so Arteta did not push me, I try to run back, try and save that situation but I could not because it was very painful, and then the media took it very personal then that’s how everything went viral.”
Partey after missing out on the Black Stars friendly with Morocco following excuse duty from camp rejoined the camp and played a part in Ghana’s second friendly game with Ivory Coast which ended in a draw at the Cape coast stadium. Attention soon shifts to preseason at Arsenal and Partey says he can’t wait to make a better impression next season.
“Yes, when you see the last few games I was able to play more than 70, some matches 90 minutes, so I think I’m feeling good. I had to rest for the next season, but when you have a national duty you cannot say no, you can try all your best but then it’s your country you have to come back and do whatever you have to do and be professional.”
Black Stars break camp on Sunday after two friendlies ended against Ivory Coast and Morocco, Thomas will soon head back to England to begin Arsenal’s preseason.
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