Thomas Partey has described Atletico Madrid‘s first training session since the suspension of football activities from coronavirus as “different”, also saying the team “suffered a bit”.
La Liga, along with other football leagues across the world, has been suspended since March as the pandemic spread rapidly, with government forcefully imposing lockdown measures.
Spain is one of the hardest-hit countries from the virus with more than 220,000 cases and 26,000 deaths.
The lockdown restrictions have been gradually lifted and this has given players the chance to return to training ahead of a proposed June restart of the league.
Players, however, must be tested before training and have to maintain social distancing, something that isn’t the norm with regular training routines.
“It was different,” Partey said after the training session. “We suffered a bit at first because we’re not used to training and keeping a distance [between each other], but we’ll get used to it.
“We’re used to being on vacation, training and playing with friends, but we could only stay at home, so it’s been difficult. Because of the situation though, we’ve had to get used to it. We had to keep training at home as much as we could.
“The problem is that we haven’t been able to touch the ball and play in groups, but we know we have to move little by little towards normality.”
Partey has played 35 times in all competitions for Atletico Madrid this season.
The 26-year old Ghana international has been increasingly linked with a move away from the Wanda Metropolitano, with Arsenal rumoured to be in the lead. Manchester United, Liverpool, Juventus and Bayern Munich have also been said to keep tabs on the midfielder.
Partey however has been warned away from signing for the Gunners by former Premier League striker Nii Lamptey.
“There are numerous offers coming for Thomas Partey but his career will take a nosedive if he doesn’t choose his next move well,” Lamptey, who joined Aston Villa on loan from Belgian side Anderlecht in the 1994-95 season and made only six Premier League appearances, told Ocean 1 TV.
“Sometimes, decision making can destroy your career. My move to England was a wrong one for me. Aston Villa was a wrong move because their style of play was not going to suit me. If I had gone to France or Spain at that time, it would have helped my career more than going to England.”