Thomas Partey has admitted that his deadline day switch from Atletico Madrid to Arsenal took him by surprise.

Indeed, the morning of the deal started out like any other but it quickly became apparent it was going to become a frantic race against time to get the transfer over the line as the Gunners had agreed to pay his €50 million (£45m/$58m) release clause.

“I was not thinking of anything,” he told Sky Sports.

“I was OK, I was talking to a friend that I train with to go and train in the morning and then my agent called me.

“He said: ‘No, we have to go to this place to sign this paper in case we have to sign some papers for you and you are not there, we will sign for you.’

“So in the morning we went there, we did that. Since we went out from the morning we could not come back home.

“We went to a restaurant to eat and the chef was like: ‘Don’t leave us today,’ I was like: ‘What do you mean?’

“He was like: ‘Today is the deadline day, do not leave us today.’ And I think my agent knew something about that and was like: ‘Nothing will happen, don’t worry.’

“So we went to sign the papers, we went to eat and I think they talked to Edu, and Edu said: ‘No, we have to do this today.’

“I was like: ‘How are we going to do this today?’ And we had to go now, now, now to do a medical and that’s how everything happened.”

The defensive midfielder had played three times this season for Atletico Madrid before the deal was made, and he has since turned out on three occasions for the Gunners.

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