Former Ghana and Chelsea manager Avram Grant reckons that Asamoah Gyan’s move from Sunderland to United Arab Emirate side Al Ain in 2011 was an impediment to the striker’s career.
Asamoah Gyan after scoring 10 goals in the 2010/11 English Premier league season made a shocking loan move to Al Ain. The loan fee was speculated to be around £6 million, with Gyan receiving up to four times his previous salary.
“Asamoah Gyan had one of the biggest qualities I have ever seen in my life because he has everything as a striker,” Grant who coached Gyan between 2014 and 2017 told 443gh.
“He has the passion to score, he can score with his feet [and] his head. He is very good mentally. I’m sure you remember the 2015 Afcon game against Algeria – the goal he scored in the last minute.
“I think his biggest mistake was not staying in the Premier League. He could have stayed because I think if he [did], he would have been considered as one of the best strikers.
“I spoke to Didier Drogba not long ago and he told me Asamoah Gyan is one of his favourites and he could have achieved more.
“I think it was a mistake moving from the Premier League but we all make mistakes when we are young.
“He should have stayed in the Premier League. There are not many strikers with his qualities.”
Asamoah Gyan enjoyed a successful loan spell in UAE, helping the team win their tenth league title and was the top goalscorer in the season with 22 league goals.
Gyan in July 2012 signed a five-year contract with Al Ain worth over £6m per season.
Gyan’s time in UAE was far from disappointing, he won the league on 3 occasions (2011–12, 2012–13, 2014–15), he also won the UAE President’s Cup in 2013–14 and Arabian Gulf Super Cup in 2012.
Individually, Gyan was named UAE Pro League top scorer on 3 consecutive occasions (2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14), he was named AFC Champions League top scorer in 2014 and AFC Foreign player of the year in 2014.
Asamoah Gyan in 2015 left Al Ain to join Chinese Super League outfit Shanghai SIPG, becoming one of the world’s best paid football players.