Thomas Partey has explained why he had to change his Arsenal shirt number to 5 because it’s his lucky digit.
Partey wore the number 18 shirt in his debut season for the Gunners after joining from Atletico Madrid but was given the option to change it this summer and jumped at the chance.
“I like the No. 5 because it’s one of the most important numbers in the team and it is also a lucky number for me,” he told Arsenal’s official website. “It’s the number I’ve worn for the past few years, so for me, it’s one of the best numbers.”
Partey first wore the number 5 shirt in 2013, while on loan at Mallorca from Atletico.
He initially donned the number 22 for Atletico Madrid but later switched to 5 in 2017 as he became a more important part of the team under Diego Simeone.
Partey continued to wear the number 5 for the next four seasons in Spain before signing for Arsenal.
The number 5 shirt at Arsenal was previously worn by Sokratis Papastathopoulos, which is why Partey had to settle for 18 when he first put pen to paper with the Gunners.
But after Arteta’s decision to streamline his team and part company with a number of players – one of which being Sokratis, who had his contract cancelled by mutual consent – Partey was given the chance to reclaim his lucky digit.
Sokratis had six months left on his Gunners contract but Arteta decided the Greek defender had no future in north London and all parties agreed to terminate the deal.
Arsenal’s technical director Edu said at the time: “On behalf of Mikel, our coaches, players and everyone at the club, I would like to thank Papa for his contribution to the club.
“He has been an important part of our group and has been a model professional throughout. The negotiations to end his contract have been collaborative and we wish Papa and his family well for the future.”