Asamoah Gyan extras: Why Reading move collapsed, Ghana Africa Cup of Nations and more

John McAuley relays some of Asamoah Gyan's extra quotes from Sunday's Al Ahli introduction press conference, including why his move to Reading FC never happened.
Ghanaian footballer Asamoah Gyan is introduced at Al Ahli, Sunday September 4, 2016. The former Al Ain striker has returned to the UAE on a loan from Shanghai SIPG. John McAuley / The National
Ghanaian footballer Asamoah Gyan is introduced at Al Ahli, Sunday September 4, 2016. The former Al Ain striker has returned to the UAE on a loan from Shanghai SIPG. John McAuley / The National

Asamoah Gyan was introduced at Al Ahli on Sunday. The former Al Ain striker is back in the UAE after a stint at China’s Shanghai SIPG, and had a lot to say about joining the Dubai power club, Arabian Gulf League title rivals of the Al Ain team he spent four years with before the move to the Chinese Super League.

• See: Asamoah Gyan – ‘Al Ahli were my worst enemy before, but now I’m part of the family’

Reporter John McAuley relays some of the extra bits and bobs from Gyan’s press conference that didn’t make it into his main story:

On renewing his professional relationship with Olaroiu:

“I’m very, very happy to work with Cosmin. We had a very good relationship for two years and everything went well. One thing people don’t know is that on the pitch Cosmin is very tough, he likes to get the job done, but outside he is a nice man, one the greatest men I’ve ever met. Relationship was so good and I felt so comfortable around him. His style is to do the on the pitch, and then whatever you need outside the pitch he’ll also do for you. He’s a man with principles. So when the call came I was very happy to work with him again.”

On joining an already fearsome Ahli attack:

“It’s going to be very, very interesting to see me playing alongside these guys, greats strikers, one of the best forward lines in the UAE. It’s a privilege to work with them. I’m here to work and I’ll make sure I understand how they play. I’m sure everything is going to work perfectly because I’m also smart on pitch, I understand what people are trying to do on the pitch. I can’t wait to start playing together and I think it’s going to be very good for team.”

On regaining fitness after injury woes in China:

“I’m ready to go. Injuries are part of the game, just as long as they don’t retire you. Right now, I’m alright and ready to play football. There were some mistakes that I made when I was in China and I don’t want to repeat those mistakes again. When I was in UAE before, I was playing almost every game. I want to listen to the staff and what they are going to say. I don’t decide on my own, the staff decide when I play.”

On why last week’s move to England’s Reading feel through:

“I don’t want to go into details, but I believe in destiny and destiny says I have to be part of Al Ahli. There was a lot of speculation, but I’m now in Al Ahli, I didn’t fail any medicals at Reading. That [the African Cup of Nations] was the discussion we had, there was bit of a misunderstanding between both parties. At the end of the day, the sporting director of the club was so nice to us. No disrespect to anybody, but it was a misunderstanding regarding this national team issues and the deal was off. Later, I heard in the news that I’d failed a medical, which wasn’t right.”

On playing at next year’s African Cup of Nations:

“I’m coming to work with a staff that know me much better, who understand me more. When there is an international break, definitely clubs release their players. Secondly, I’m the captain of my national team so it’s different. Right now I’m more focused on playing with Al Ahli and, when the international break comes, if I’m ready to go then I have to go, if I not then I’ll stay.”

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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Published: September 4, 2016 04:00 AM

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