Former Ghana and Chelsea coach Avram Grant reckons Asamoah Gyan’s famous 2011 transfer from English Premier League side Sunderland to Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates greatly hampered the striker’s progress.
After hitting 10 league goals in his first season with The Black Cats, Gyan promptly pursued a move away, originally joining the Arabian club on loan which was later made permanent.
The mouthwatering transfer was reportedly worth up to £6 million, with the striker 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.”
Gyan began his career with local side Liberty Professional before moving to Italian fold Udinese in 2003. He was farmed out to lower division side Modena at some point of his time with Udinese.
Gyan joined Sunderland from French fold Stade Rennais in 2010 following fine performances for Ghana at the World Cup. His good showing at the global gathering also helped earn him the 2010 BBC African Footballer of the Year award.
His time at Al Ain was certainly far from disappointing as he ended his stay with three goal-king titles in the UAE Pro-League, a top scorer’s prize in the AFC Champions League and an honour as the 2014 AFC Foreign Player of the Year.
In 2015, the Accra-born was on the move again, this time joining Chinese Super League outfit Shanghai SIPG, who loaned him to Arabian side Al Ahli Dubai in 2016-2017 before permanently letting go of him to Turkish team Kayserispor.
He played for Indian side NorthEast United last season.
At international level, Gyan made his Ghana debut against Somalia in a 2006 World Cup qualifier in 2003, scoring in the match.
He has gone on to become the West Africans’ most-capped and all-time top scorer with 106 appearances and 51 goals.
The 34-year-old is also the highest-scoring African at the World Cup with six goals to his name.
At Afcon, the forward is the second highest scoring Ghanaian at the tournament with eight goals.