‘Gyan still welcome’

DUBAI — Asamoah Gyan has been handed an unlikely lifeline by parent club Sunderland after his surprising switch to the UAE League with nine-time champions Al Ain.

By Alex Leach

Published: Wed 14 Sep 2011, 11:24 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 8:17 AM

The Ghanaian striker, 25, appeared to have severed all ties with the Blacks Cats in making a season-long loan move away from the Premier League, with boss Steve Bruce casting grave doubt over his eventual return.

However, Niall Quinn — the chairman at the Stadium of Light — is refusing to rule out seeing the African Footballer of the Year back in a red and white shirt and has left the door open should Gyan elect to come back to the North East.

“The olive branch is there, but Asamoah has to convince Steve, and every Sunderland fan, of his commitment to this club if he is to return,” the former Arsenal and Manchester City striker told Sunderland’s official website.

“Steve’s frustrations towards the player were understandable at the time, but since then they’ve made contact and are on good terms.

“Steve Bruce, our owner and the board all found the football decision baffling, but I as chairman, with everyone’s full support, decided that this deal was in the best interests of our club.

“It goes without saying that this puts Steve and his recruitment options in a far stronger position for January.

Those sentiments were shared by Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, who added his thoughts on this affair on the microblogging website Twitter.

“Wow! Gyan left the PL (Premier League) for UAE….at 23 or whatever he is, baffled! If he was in (his) 30s, I could understand….,” he penned.

“By the way, that’s no offence to the league in the UAE. It’s just surely any young player should aspire to play in the best leagues plus PL is one.

“I’m going to the UAE soon for a holiday so will check out the standard of the league out there.

“The weather, people plus food is great, the league…we’ll see.”

Bruce himself repeatedly aired his opinions on the temporary transfer over the weekend.

“I had a conversation with him 48 hours ago and he shook my hand and assured me he wanted to stay at Sunderland,” he explained.

“Within a few hours things changed. It’s disappointing and the whole thing had left a bad taste in my mouth.”

He added: “I don’t really believe Gyan will have a future here. It baffles me how he can leave the best league in the world to play in the United Arab Emirates. I’ll let people make their own conclusions why.”

It has been reported in the English press that Gyan stands to quadruple his weekly wage — to something approaching $200,000 a week — by moving here.

Meanwhile, the player has looked to appease his once-disgruntled employers and Sunderland fans by agreeing to make a “sizeable donation” to the SAFC Foundation for every month that he is out on loan.


More news from Football