The name Thomas Partey is not new to football fans over the world but even in his native Ghana, it is the word on almost every fan’s lips when a mention is made of the Black Stars. It is not for the beauty of his name neither is it because of is easy to mention but because the bearer of the name is doing something magnificent for the four-time African champions.
Now playing his club football with Arsenal in England, Thomas party started out in Ghana and from Tema Youth SC, a former Premier League club, he joined Atletico Madrid in Spain in where he started out with the club’s reserve side before loan spells at Mallorca and Almeria reintroduced him to the mainstream side at the Rojiblancos.
He six successive seasons with the Atletico Madrid senior side, winning a number of trophies including the 2020/21 La Liga title in the season which he played only three matches for the side before joining the Gunners.
Partey is a fan favourite in Ghana and his presence on the national side gives some assurance and hope to the team. That cannot be understated giving how yearning supporters were for him to return quickly for the world cup qualifiers. His absence coincided with a drowsy 1-0 win over Ethiopia before a defeat to South Africa by the same scoreline, a match in which the Black Stars were outrun and beaten at all departments of the game and finally undone by a late goal to leave them chasing the Bafana Bafana for qualification.
In his return and under new management, the team strolled to a 3-1 win at home against Zimbabwe with Partey scoring a decisive second-half goal that took the energy out of their visitors who had grown with confidence following their equalizer of Mohammed Kudus first-half goal.
Against the same opponent on Harare, Partey was there to deliver but this time with the captain’s armband strapped around his arm as the substantive captain Andre Ayew watched from the bench. Partey smashed in a 31st-minute free-kick to put the Black Stars in the lead at the National Sports Stadium in Harare.
His goal will end up as the difference as the Warriors failed to fight back in a match where Partey decided who should have a party and who should mourn. His goal has kept Ghana in the hunt for qualification with games against Ethiopia away and South Africa at home awaiting Milovan Rajevac’s side in November while also dumping the Warriors out of the competition.
In 33 appearances for Ghana, Partey has scored 12 goals, a staggering figure for a midfielder but there is even more to it. In all matches (9) Partey scored, the Black Stars have never lost any, they won all except one, a 2-2 draw with Iceland in 2018.
But will the party go ahead through to Qatar or it is just here? That is something we would see in at least the next thirty days but for now, the Ghana fans say, “No Thomas, No Partey”.
I hope you remember the ‘No Jesus, No Life’ footballs in the early 2000s? If you do, drop your comments and let’s hear your story. Till then, I am going for the ‘Partey after partey’.