After swapping the prestige of the English Premier League for
the riches of the United Arab Emirates, Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan
is set to embark on a new chapter in his career.
Gyan left Sunderland ”baffled” by completing a season-long
loan move to Al Ain on Saturday, with sections of the British media
reporting he will triple his weekly salary to around 125,000 pounds
His shock move has left Sunderland bitter, with chairman Niall
Quinn listing the reasons why the club had to let its star striker
Among them, Quinn said Monday, were the ”obvious economic
benefits to our club in the terms of the final deal laid out” when
the chairman of Al Ain flew to Sunderland’s training ground on
Friday to finalize the loan deal.
However, the 25-year-old Gyan has no intention of looking back
on the wreckage he has left behind, with Sunderland unable to
replace him in the squad because the transfer window closed on
”I’m really, really happy to be here, at an important club like
Al Ain,” said Gyan, who helped Ghana reach the quarterfinals at
last year’s World Cup. ”I’ve played in Europe for a while and I’m
here to see how is the Asian league. Hopefully, I will help the
team win some cups and then see where my future lies.”
The terms of Gyan’s deal with Al Ain have not been revealed,
although reports say Sunderland would be receiving 6 million pounds
($9.5 million) for loaning out the player.
Quinn spoke of his disappointment at Gyan’s ”negative demeanor
in and around the training ground” in recent weeks and the
striker’s ”clear desire to leave.”
Unlike manager Steve Bruce, though, Quinn said Gyan could still
be recalled to the Stadium of Light.
”He will need to convince Steve, the board and every Sunderland
fan of his commitment to this club if he is to return,” Quinn
Quinn, who said Gyan would be making a sizeable donation to the
Sunderland Foundation for each month he is away on loan, added that
he, the board and Bruce ”found the football decision that Asamoah
wished to make baffling.”
Gyan is Sunderland’s record signing, joining for a club-record
fee of 13 million pounds ($20 million) from French club Rennes last
season. He scored 11 goals in 37 appearances for Sunderland but
clearly failed to settle into English football.
Gyan said Monday he had needed ”a change in environment” and
promised Al Ain fans he would ”deliver here, I’m very sure about
Gyan is the fourth foreign player the club has signed in recent
weeks ahead of the new season starting Oct. 15, after Ignacio
Scocco of Argentina, Mirel Radoi of Romania and Yasser al-Qahtani
of Saudi Arabia.
Al Ain is owned by Sheik Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown
prince of Abu Dhabi. The club finished 10th in the UAE Pro League –
the Persian Gulf emirate’s top league – last season.