Former Ghana international and Chelsea star Michael Essien has heaped praise on Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey, wishing he played alongside him.
Partey has 27 caps for the Black Stars and scored has 10 goals since making his debut in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier away to Mauritius which ended in a 2-0 win.
The 26-year old has been a first-team regular for Atletico Madrid since 2015, making 174 appearances, scoring 15 goals and providing 12 assists.
Partey was runner-up in the 2016 Champions League final to city rivals Real Madrid and won the 2018 Europa League and Uefa Super Cup. He is also the recipient of the 2018 and 2019 Ghana Player of the Year.
“Thomas [Partey] is such a good player. I’d have loved to play with him,” Essien – who is 11 years older than Partey said in an Instagram Live interview.
“He is a young and talented player making waves in Europe. He is one player I’d liked to play alongside but it will never happen.
“It is their time at the Black Stars now so we have to support them and hopefully they can take it from where we left off.”
Essien went on to assert how pleased he was to play for the Ghana national team.
He earned 58 caps between 2002 and 2014, scoring nine goals.
He played at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Africa Cup of Nations. He also represented his country at their maiden World Cup outing in 2006 where they reached the Round of 16. He featured at the 2014 edition in Brazil.
“It was an honour to play for the Black Stars. It is the dream of every young footballer and thankfully I realized mine,” Essien continued.
“It was a pleasure to represent my country. I’m lucky because I’m the only player who has represented the country at every stage, starting from the U12, U15, U17, U20 to the Olympics Games with the U23 and straight to the Black Stars.
“I think I’ve done enough.”
At club level, Essien has played for French sides Bastia and Lyon, Chelsea, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Panathinaikos, Persib Bandung in Indonesia and presently with Azerbaijani outfit Sabail.
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