24
Fri, Nov
39 New Articles

Ahead of this weekend’s Madrid derby, CitiSports’ Daniel Koranteng looks at the evolution of Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey, who has risen to become one of the most important players at the Madrid club

Karim Abdul Razak, Mohammed Gargo, Michael Essien and Stephen Appiah are some of the most notable names which come to mind when you think of prominent Ghanaian midfielders, and one name will soon be fit to be considered in this elusive company.

Thomas Teye Partey has fast become one of Europe’s most talked about midfielders after his blistering form in 2017 for both club and country. The Atletico Madrid midfielder who after a slow start to his Atletico career has slowly worked his way into the plans of manager Diego Simeone, and is now just one start away from equaling his total tally from the previous two seasons combined. Partey is the embodiment of your typical African central midfielder, possessing immense physical attributes in addition to his exceptional technique. Standing tall at a height of 1.82m, Partey is also very imposing figure on the pitch with the added bonus of having in the aerial advantage over opponents.

Partey joined the 2014 La Liga Champions in 2011 as an 18-year-old from Ghanaian side Odometah FC but only made his first senior appearance for the side three years later in a home win against Espanyol after spending 2 years on loan at Mallorca and Almeria. Partey, in the last two seasons, has largely been used off the bench getting very limited time on the pitch. He made 9 starts in the 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 seasons combined, but there was no doubt about Partey’s potential as he continuously showed glimpses of his abilities in the limited time he was given on the pitch.

Partey’s decision to accept a 5 year contract renewal from Atletico in the summer of 2017 came as a surprise to many who thought a move away from the club would’ve provided him more opportunities to shine. But fast forward to 2017/2018 and the Ghana international is almost the first name on the Atletico team sheet.

partey1

Partey has started all but 3 of Atletico’s league games this season scoring twice and producing two Man of the Match performances. His 90th-minute winner against Deportivo this season summed up the sort of influence he’s had on the Madrid club this season. He has however been quick to praise his club manager Diego Simeone for his transformation this season. Simeone gave Partey his debut at the club and was the main reason why the Ghana international signed the contract extension with the club.

“Simeone allowing me time to develop was important and I had to wait for my chances. The manager spoke to me many times in the past to keep me involved and now I am playing more.

“He is great at motivating the players and makes it clear to us how he wants us to play and how we can continue to improve,” Partey said.

partey-1

Partey’s remarkable evolution has also been seen in his performances with the Black Stars. The midfielder who made his debut for the side in June last year under former Head Coach Avram Grant, has grown to become arguably the most important player for the Black Stars. He showed glimpses of his true potential at the AFCON this year where he was one of the standout players in the Black Stars team which lost in the semifinals to eventual champions Cameroon. He scored his first goal for the team in September in a 2018 World Cup qualifier against Congo at the Baba Yara Stadium grabbing a late equalizer for the team in a 1-1 draw. Partey then went on to cement his status as one of the Africa’s leading midfielders when his hat-trick against Congo days after, in the return leg of the qualifier helped Ghana to an impressive 5-1 win in Brazzaville.

heat-1

heat-2

Partey is made up of the power of Essien and the attacking mind and drive of Yaya Toure. His tactical discipline and ability to read the game is what sets him apart from the rest. The central midfielder’s versatility has also come to light in recent weeks in his performances for the Madrid based side. As evidenced by the heat maps above, Partey has exhibited a tremendous versatile ability, akin to what Essien had in his prime days. In the game against Deportivo, he spent his 90 minutes powering up and down the right side of midfield; and in the game against Chelsea, he excelled playing centrally – a testament to his overall prowess as a midfield general. It seems that Simeone has finally found a way to fit his Ghanaian gem in his side, and this new role is working to perfection.

The story of Partey is one of sheer will and determination to succeed; the young man who left the shores of Ghana as a teenager, and had to adapt to a completely different culture and way of life, while having to focus on his football. From struggling to make the bench to becoming a fan favourite, Partey has arrived and the world is taking notice!

Source: citifmonline.com

The Head Coach of Ghana Black Stars Kwesi Appiah has defended his continuous exclusion of the Ayew brothers from the Black Stars, and insists he has made those decisions without any personal malice.

Appiah has not called on West Ham's Andre Ayew and Jordan Ayew of Swansea City since the pair opted out of Ghana's World Cup qualifier against Congo citing injury and illness.

The Ghana boss controversially dropped the Ayews after the World Cup Qualifier with Congo in Kumasi but no player has permanency in the team yet.

The Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC), has secured £5,000 preparation grant for seven Ghanaian athletes ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

A statement from the GOC signed by Mr. Richard Akpokavie, General Secretary and copied GNA Sports said the grant is a form of scholarship for the athletes to aid them in their preparation for the games.

The athletes are Emmanuel Dasor and Atsu Nyamadi - Athletics, Derek Abrefa-Table Tennis, Mohammed Azumah-Boxing, Grace Atipaka-Badminton, Richmond Osarfo-Weightlifting and Felix Acheampong-Para Sports.

Ghana Defender Kasim Adams Nuhu wants to take after former Black Stars and Bayern Munich centre-back Samuel Osei Kuffour.

Kuffour is widely remembered for his time with the Bavarians, for whom he played from 1993 to 2005, and won the 2001 UEFA Champions League as well as the 2001 FIFA Club World Cup.

Having had his taste of both the Champions League and international football this season with the Young Boys, Adams is hoping to be the next great Ghana defender.

Ibrahim Sannie Daara has seen a dramatic rise in his career after being appointed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to serve on its Media Experts panel.

The Director of Communications of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), is among the first officials to be appointed to work on the newly-created body.

The man who doubles as the Deputy General Secretary of the GFA has arrived in Morocco to be introduced to the new leadership of CAF on Thursday (today) before undergoing an induction.

Ghana Coach Kwesi Appiah will hold a secret meeting with African football legend Abedi Pele who is the father of Andre and Jordan Ayew before meeting the players in December.

Kwesi Appiah is hoping that he will find Abedi more calming and understanding before traveling to England to meet the two players.

Andre Ayew who plays for West Ham United and his younger brother Jordan of Swansea City have been overlooked for recent call ups despite playing regularly for their teams in England.

Andre’s situation is more alarming as he is the deputy skipper of the team and has looked sharp in the last month.

The Life Patron of Asante Kotoko, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has commended Asante Kotoko Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Kwame Kyei for his efforts in trying to bring back the club's glory days.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II appointed the business mogul to run Asante Kotoko for the next three years.

Under the tenure of the 55-year-old, the Porcupine Warriors finished 5th on the Ghana Premier League table but were hugely successful in the FA Cup where they trounced bitterest rivals Hearts of Oak 3-1 at the Tamale Sports Stadium.

More Articles ...