Thomas Partey may have signed for Arsenal last week, but he maintains his biggest footballing hero and the greatest player ever is a former Chelsea star.
The Ghana midfielder moved to the Emirates Stadium from Atletico Madrid after the Gunners activated his £45million release clause on Deadline Day.
And during a Q&A with his new club, Partey named compatriot Michael Essien – who made 256 appearances for London rivals Chelsea – as his hero.
Explaining his decision, Partey said: "He is one of the best players Ghana has ever had."
But the 27-year-old did not stop there in his praise of Essien, going on to name the Premier League and Champions League winner as the best player of all time.
Asked to name his pick for the greatest footballer ever, Partey responded: "I would say Michael Essien, because he is my hero and he is my idol."
Meanwhile, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said Partey is in contention for the trip to Manchester City on Saturday evening.
The Spaniard said: “Well, he was here just yesterday. He is getting familiar with everything around the club.
"Today he will have his first training session, so everything has to come really quickly for him. We knew that before we signed him that he is fit, he is very willing to start playing and we will see how he goes in the next few days.
Where does Essien rank among the Premier League's best ever midfielders? Have your say here.
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“I have seen the buzz around the place, the fans are really happy, I have seen some really positive reactions after we bought him, the same with the team, the squad and the staff.
"I think he is a player we had the radar on for a long time and we have managed to bring him in and I think he will be a really important addition to the team.
“He got to know some of his team-mates [already]. Not all of them, because some are still on international duty but we will have everyone back today and it will be a good day for him to get to know everyone."
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