Thomas Partey was nicknamed ‘Octopus’ at Almeria | Denis Doyle/Getty Images

New Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey has explained that he picked up his nickname, ‘octopus’, because of the way he plays, winning back the ball regularly for his team.

Partey, who completed a £45m transfer to north London on the final day of the delayed summer transfer window, earned the nickname from his teammates during a loan at Almeria in 2014/15. He even has a tattoo of an octopus.

Thomas Teye Partey
Arsenal triggered a £45m release clause to buy Partey | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

“I always say that if I was an animal, I would be an octopus. They called me the octopus because I stole a lot of balls,” he said, quoted by the Telegraph in his first round of media interviews.

Partey’s father caused a shock earlier this week when he claimed he and his son were hoping to sign for a ‘bigger’ club than Arsenal, one that could offer Champions League football.

“We actually weren’t disturbed by anything because we hoped a bigger team will come. We were aware of the [other teams that were interested]: JuventusChelsea and so forth,” Jacob Partey said.

However, it was Partey Sr. who also suggested to his son to entertain a club that was not in the Champions League, but has the potential to be in the near future.

“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?” the father explained.

It appears that Thomas, having re-assessed his preferences, has the right mentality to succeed at Arsenal and help take the club back to the next level. He is also keen to work with manager Mikel Arteta after the Spaniard and technical director Edu sold him their vision of the Gunners.

“I still have much to develop. I still have more to learn,” he said.

“[Arteta] was very important. He and Edu told me about their plans and it was so exciting. I have to be quick and make sure I learn everything as fast as I can. I am prepared but I need to get used to the style of play before I can play.”

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