Arsenal newbie Thomas Partey has set the bar high in terms of players he wishes to emulate during his time in London, citing Premier League winners Michael Essien and Yaya Toure as two of his reference points.
Ghana international Partey joined Arsenal from Atletico Madrid on transfer deadline day for £45m in one of the window's most intriguing deals.
A regular under Diego Simeone for several seasons, Partey has become known as one of the best box-to-box midfielders in Europe.
Though early into his Arsenal career he has set the bar high for how he wants to play.
He said: "I like to be both defensive and offensive. I know whenever I am in the opposite area, I have chances for a goal and I think defensively, I want to be stronger. I want to attack like Yaya Toure and defend like Michael Essien so to have both qualities is good."
Toure, who spent eight seasons at Manchester City, won three Premier League titles and was often used as an attacking midfielder. Only Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling have more than Toure's 62 goals for City in Premier League history.
Partey's countryman Essien, meanwhile, played over 250 times for Chelsea as an all-action midfielder, winning two league titles in England amongst a host of other honours.
Partey continued: "Playing in the midfield, you have to be mentally quick and be intelligent in how you position yourself and get the ball. Mikel [Arteta] is helping me a lot because we always have the ball so you have time to think and position yourself and I think with time, I'll get used to everything and most things will come after that. I think everybody will know and we'll see what will happen."
Partey also spoke of how notoriously hard taskmaster Simeone helped develop him as a player over the years.
"Simeone has helped me a lot," he added. "Before, I was just a good player but then he spoke to me and said 'if you want to be among the best, you have to be the best. Every good player is good offensively but not all players are good defensively', so he gave me that.
"This is what we [at Arsenal] are working on [defensive qualities as a midfielder]. I only arrived three weeks ago and I think at the moment, I'm adapting with the positioning and after that, I'll continue working hard on how to move freely."
Source : 90min