Watch: Asamoah Gyan thanks Al Ain ‘for their love’ but focus is on ‘new challenge’ at Al Ahli

Asamoah Gyan has said he is ready for the “new challenge” of helping Al Ahli compete for titles after the Ghana captain completed his return to the Arabian Gulf League.
Al Ahli chairman Abdullah Al Naboodah shakes hands with Asamoah Gyan after the Ghana captain sealed a move to the Arabian Gulf League champions. Courtesy / Al Ahli
Al Ahli chairman Abdullah Al Naboodah shakes hands with Asamoah Gyan after the Ghana captain sealed a move to the Arabian Gulf League champions. Courtesy / Al Ahli

Asamoah Gyan has said he is ready for the “new challenge” of helping Al Ahli compete for titles after the Ghana captain completed his return to the Arabian Gulf League on Wednesday.

As first revealed by The National, Gyan, 30, has moved to the UAE champions on a season-long loan. He replaces Senegalese striker Moussa Sow, who returned to Fenerbahce, also in a loan deal for this season.

Gyan achieved great personal and club success during his previous spell in UAE football. In four years at Al Ain, he scored 128 goals in 123 matches, playing a pivotal role in the club’s three league titles and their 2014 President’s Cup success. Gyan was also the Asian Champions League’s top goalscorer in 2014 with 12 goals as Al Ain reached the semi-finals.

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The former Sunderland striker’s success at Al Ain earned him legendary status among the club’s fans, so his move to their biggest title rivals is considered a major shock. Gyan will also be reuniting with his former Al Ain manager Cosmin Olaroiu at the Rashid Stadium.

However, Gyan, while thanking Al Ain fans for their support, has said it is time to focus on the future as he prepares to help Al Ahli defend the league title.

“I want to say to all the fans in the UAE, I’m back, I’m back home,” he said in a video message posted on Twitter by 3news.com.

“The relationship I had with the people of the UAE was fantastic, so I had to come back and continue the relationship we had.

“I’d also like to thank the fans of Al Ain fans so much, we had a great four seasons together. I’d like to thank the fans for their love and everything they showed to me.

“Now is a new challenge for me and I can’t wait to start with Al Ahli, because Al Ahli is also a big club, a great club with good fans so I hope they wait for me and everything will be fine.

“We start a new challenge, they know what I can do. But we don’t dwell on the past now. I’m looking forward to a new goal with the club and making sure the UAE league is exciting.”

Gyan, Rodrigo Lima, Everton Ribeiro and Kwon Kyung-won now form Ahli’s foreign contingent. Last season, the Dubai side finished nine points ahead of runners-up Al Ain in the league. They kick off their title defence on September 17, at home to Emirates club.

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Published: September 1, 2016 04:00 AM

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