“My son’s move to Arsenal is the biggest news of my life” – Father of Thomas Partey
It has been a heady week for the Partey family. They are used to headlines about their son, Thomas, but even with that considered, the whirlwind of news and energy greeting the move to Arsenal has been immense.
In an exclusive interview with Joy Sports’, Jacob Partey walks reporter George Addo Jnr through the emotions of the move from Atlético Madrid to Arsenal. Here is an excerpt:
George Addo Junior: Daddy, thank you for your time and congratulations to you and your family.
Jacob Partey: Thank you. I’m sure it’s a thanks to all Krobos and Ghanaians as well.
George: Is this news the biggest of your life? I know marrying your wife was huge but is this the biggest?
Jacob: Actually for now, that is it. It is the biggest. I had the dream the way Partey was trained to come up with the game, I know there are bigger things ahead and it’s just started.
George: How did the news get to you? Did Partey call you on transfer deadline day?
Jacob: Yes, actually. That very day in the morning we prayed and it was on a voice message. So he sent back that message that daddy, where’s mom? I told him she was around and he told me that he’s seen we have prayed very well and I told him that yes we had. He said we should keep on praying and pray hard. I told him okay and his mother told him we will.
At that point I told my wife something good was going to happen.
George: But you were still not sure and in that evening you turned in to the transfer deadline day show on Joy News.
Jacob: Yeah, I wanted to be very sure but within I felt okay because we had given everything to God.
George: What was happening between you and your wife while watching the Joy transfer deadline day show?
Jacob: She asked me if I was sure but I was bold and told her he will surely move because already I had told him that he should go for money and I was bold enough just to be hopeful of the move.
George: Finally on the show we indicated that Arsenal had announced the signing of your boy.
Jacob: Yes. Actually you made that statement and some pictures came and Partey wasn’t in them [laughs] we were surprised but meanwhile I had told my wife that he’ll be moving because the way the Arsenal fans were calling and Joy News group was also doing their thing so I told my wife we should keep cool.
Jacob: We actually weren’t disturbed by anything because we hoped a bigger team will come for Partey. We were aware of the [other teams that were interested]: Juventus, Chelsea and so forth. So about all these we knew God was with us. From that minute we started to dance to ‘Party after Party’
Jacob: I became overwhelmed to the extent I was thinking [that the song] was [from] some of their friends [alluding to the Partey family]. So, it was [Thomas] Partey after Partey’s junior brother and so after Partey another junior brother before me the big brother.
George: He happens to be the first home-grown Ghanaian to move to Arsenal. All the others were born in Europe. How did you manage your phone after the move?
Jacob: It wasn’t easy! I wondered if I was the Vice President. The calls were successive from FM stations and others but I made sure to respond to all and my wife prepared some banku and okro soup for our celebration.
Georg: Your son is now an Arsenal boy. We’re looking back at what we’ve seen – Essien at Chelsea was very big and your son is very big as well. After everything was sealed what did you tell your son after you spoke to him?
Jacob: I think I prayed before. I went to a coaching course so I have been reading the sports books and highlights and also other history about sports men and women, so I told him this thing is an opportunity that has come to pass some years back. What I [noticed] was that he was willing to play where there is Champions League [football] but [I suggested to him that] can’t he be where there is no Champions League and help them get into the Champions League? My advice to him was irrespective of the big move, he has to keep training seriously and not lose focus. Not chase ladies so he doesn’t flop! And he was very receptive of that.
George: I don’t want you to put pressure on him but what are your expectations of your boy when he starts playing for Arsenal?
Jacob: Actually with Partey, if it was wrestling or boxing I can’t defend him but for football, anywhere on this earth, Partey will be selected in the top 10/20 out of 150.
George: Congratulations once again and we wish Partey will do the very best and make everyone proud.