Arsenal may just have landed their new Patrick Vieira when they signed Thomas Partey on transfer deadline day.
Club legend Vieira was a beast in midfield, starting attacks with powerful runs and winning balls with crunching tackles – fans called him Paddy Long Legs for his spider-like presence.
Partey, the £45m arrival from Atletico Madrid, meanwhile, earned his nickname “The Octopus” for the same qualities and even has a tattoo to celebrate his bynaam.
He explains: “I always say, if I would be an animal, I would be an octopus.
“When I was in Almeria, they called me the octopus because I stole a lot of balls [by tackling opponents].”
Just like Vieira, the 27-year-old Ghana star will be out to bully opponents in the Premier League should he make his debut when the Gunners go to Manchester City on Saturday.
Partey grew up watching the league and saw Vieira lift the last of Arsenal’s 13 league titles in 2003/04.
And he says he wants to get the north Londoners “back where we belong”.
He explains: “Everybody is wanting to win all the trophies that can be won. That’s my goal also.
“It’s something that’s difficult but we’re working towards it and we’re ready.
“We have to go all out and try and achieve all I have said.
“That’s the objective of the club and myself. We have to get back to where we belong.”
The fourth-placed Gunners go to City having won three of their opening four league games, with their hosts sukkeling down in 14th with one just one win in three.