When Sunderland’s chequebook came out in the summer of 2010, up went the expectations at the Stadium of Light; only to then come smashing down to earth this sunny summer Saturday. Their £13m striker had bid his time on Wearside and was headed for a “holiday” in the United Arab Emirates.
“I have signed a one-year loan deal with Al Ain club in the United Arab Emirates,” Gyan told Ghana Soccernet.
“I will continue to wear my favourite No.3 jersey at Al Ain as I begin a new adventure but with Sunderland still engrained on my heart.”
Further to be confirmed by his new club, Al Ain.
“Gyan is arriving to UAE today evening at 12:00 AM with H.E Mohammed Abdullah Bin Bdoua, Al Ain Club Board of Directors member. The player will do the medical test to complete the needed documents for his profile in the club officially. The player got the number 3 which he used to wear in with his national team and all the other clubs he had played for.”
The world stood still. What in the Lord’s name had convinced Gyan to pack his bags and take his talents to the United Arab Emirates?
Gyan’s representatives, it was reported, asked chairman Niall Quinn about a possible pay rise, but Sunderland didn’t consider this an option at the time, with the player only a year into a long-term contract.
The idea that Al Ahin will increase Gyan’s basic salary, and include lucrative bonuses based on goals and appearances turned his head. You might suggest that this was a clear case of Gyan thinking more about his bank monetary statements, than his talents that earn the money in the first place.
But in a breath, all of this comes with little surprise. Bruce had even warned against a possible move.
“Since that game at Wembley, all the parasites, as I call them, hover around,” said Steve Bruce, Sunderland manager.
“People are in his ear constantly trying to engineer a deal for him. Certainly since the England game, when he played at Wembley so well on the night, something has been troubling him.
“It’s very difficult, the constant speculation no matter what you try to quash or quell, and the people around him, the people who want to make a fast buck, and it affects him in the end.
“He was going from Real Madrid to Bayern Munich to Valencia to Atletico Madrid.”
Al Ain it was. By a mile the most successful club in the UAE. The team that had won the 2003 Asian Football Confederation Champions League.
1.Gyan wouldn’t be able to develop his own game. By moving to the United Arab Emirates, Gyan wouldn’t have the luxury of improving his intangibles to be the top talent that he’s been envisaged to be. He has shown the promise to be a world class player, only that he needed the bigger platform to learn his trade steadily and show a bit of it to the world. Reason you’d suggest he moved on from Udinese to Rennes and then to Sunderland. The whole idea of this move clearly speaks of Gyan being money-motivated, rather than seeking to improve his striking abilities.
Bruce, had before this day, challenged the Ghanaian striker to rediscover the form that had scared the bejesus out of defenders at the World Cup and that brought him 10 league goals following his move from French side Rennes in August 2010.
“We have had a discussion with him and he needs now to focus and get himself back on track again and be the Asamoah Gyan we know he is capable of,” said the Sunderland boss.
“These things affect these players, and it has affected Asa.”
“I had a conversation with him two days ago to say, ‘Look, the window as now closed, Asa. Right, we need to see you back playing again and back the way you know you can play’.”
2.He’s out of the spotlight: Being at Sunderland presented Gyan with the near-perfect spotlight he needed in order to put his striking qualities to good use.
The English Premiership’s massive TV deals meant Gyan had the best of leagues to show more of his good self as he had done in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Now that he’s turned up on a flight to the UAE, it is on a pension-mission, rather than to make a good bit of himself. He’d be playing in a poorer league, with little support base cheering him on, and surrounded by players who are nowhere near the needed quality to help him improve.
3.No big move move for Mr.Gyan. Again. Who, amidst the hardened global credit crunch era, will spill out another £13 million for a player whose head will be turned to the idea that he could be earning double-wages playing in another league? It’s a move that clearly won’t help Gyan in the long run. Even if he bides his time well at the club, the prospects of him getting another top club calling for him are minimal. This is saddening, looking at Gyan’s talents.
The worrying question is why did Gyan decide to take his talents to Al Ain? Reports had been rife that he clearly wasn’t satisfied with the £1.5m-a-year-wages he was earning at Wearside. There have been rumours he was unsettled with life at Sunderland, which was only further compounded by the club’s reluctance to retain Sulley Muntari, John Mensah and his closest pal, Anton Ferdinand.
Others have suggested that Steve Bruce allowed Gyan to leave without a fight as he’d have lost the striker to a 5-week assignment at the African Cup of Nations in January.
But the manager told Sunderland’s official website: “Anyone who has seen Asamoah play will know that he hasn’t been himself in recent months. This option suits all parties at the present time and the club is well-protected in the deal.
“Asamoah has three years remaining on his contract and of course my wish would be that he finds his spark again and we see him in red and white stripes next season in the form that first attracted us to him.”
That’s the hope many Ghanaians hold up for now. That he finds the spark that Steve Bruce wishes he gets and finds the form that will be reminiscent of his good days.
Until then, wrong move, Asamoah Gyan, wrong move.
Pasted from <http://www.theelastico.com/?p=1260>
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