Thomas Partey has become the hottest Ghanaian commodity ahead of the summer transfer window.
The Ghanaian International has been heavily linked to English Premier League side Arsenal who have reportedly tabled a £43million offer for the 26-year-old.
Partey’s father has already confirmed his son is in talks with the former English Champions with a deal yet to be agreed.
Although Atletico Madrid remain disinclined on releasing the player, reports say representatives of the midfielder could strike a deal with the Gunners.
Born in Krobo Odumase, a town in the Eastern Region of Ghana, Partey grew up playing football in his town where he played for Odometah FC, a juvenile team owned by his father.
With his father knowing his potentials, he decided to sell off some of his possessions to acquire a visa and also buy football boots for his son to enable him realize his dream of travelling outside after an agent had shown interest in the young talent.
“There was someone better than me, a forward who scored all the goals, but he did not want to come to Europe and wanted to play for a team in Ghana,” Partey told Marca.
“So my turn came and when he asked me what I wanted I said to triumph in football so as to help my family.
“He asked me who was my father and he went to speak to him to ask if he could take me to Spain for a trial, but never said which team.
“I went with the agent who did all my papers but I had nothing to do, I just trained, ate and slept until the day arrived when I had to travel, which I did not know when it would be or what time.”
“He had helped me since I was small as without boots you could not play. He also helped a lot the team from my neighbourhood and I remember we brought food.
“I got into a car, they (agents) took me to the capital, they gave me my passport and said: ‘today you travel,'” he said.
“My dad wasn’t at home, nobody from my family knew anything, nor that I was going that day because if they were told then it would cause a lot of problems.
“I travelled to Spain and it was six or seven months before anyone realised that I wasn’t in Ghana.
“My father was always OK with my decision because he did not have any help, it cost him a lot and he said nothing,” he said.
“The following month they sent me money for me to buy boots. My mum was worried because she was thinking about what could happen to me.
“Sometimes I listened to her and others no. I always do what I think is best and for that reason I decided to travel without saying anything to anyone.”
The player is now rated among one of the best in Africa and undoubtedly one of the most improved players in the Spanish La Liga.