Is he coming back, staying there or on his way somewhere else entirely? The Gyan plot thickens …
GhanaWeb has been a source of several of the stories that have appeared about Asamoah Gyan after his abrupt departure from Sunderland in search of his desert gold. Often enough, reports on Gyan in the UK, in the press or electronic media, relied on snippets picked up from this and other Ghanaian outlets.
For once, the boot is on the other foot.
GhanaWeb has deferred to the Sunderland Echo in speculating about the possibility that Gyan may not only be contemplating a return to Wearside but has been actively courted by Martin O’Neill. Or so it seemed; there is, to say the least, confusion, with the Echo now denying it ever published such comments.
But since the story is repeated elsewhere, what would people think if it happened? My own guess is that while many will feel deep-seated resentment towards Gyan and the manner in which he engineered his move to Al-Ain, the majority would rally loyally to O’Neill is it happened to be his wish to have the player at the Stadium of Light. The MON endorsement would be enough, in other words, to stop that resentment translating into a chilly homecoming, though Gyan would have to work his socks off to regain confidence fully.
But I may be wrong. Maybe the enduring sense of grievance is too raw. Gyan can watch the Premier League live on TV in Abu Dhabi and see how well Sunderland have been doing. And who, after all, wouldn’t prefer to be playing in a buoyant, talked-about Premier team rather than the equivalent of League 2 or even the Conference? Money issues, that is, put to one side.
For the record, Gyan is top striker in the UAE Etisalat Pro League, the two he got last week taking his total to 15. Al-Ain reprotedly want to tie him down to a contract; a Qatari club was said recently to have made a bid.
And what GhanaWeb reported as having been said in the Echo, by an “insider” (which could be anyone from a PR person to MON himself, talking on a non-attributable basis, but will not be mere gossip from a bloke who knows the wife of someone on the ground staff), is this: “There have been talks in the past few days with the player who is quite open about returning to the club. O’Neill is leaving his options open at the end of the season and both parties will sit down for further talks in the summer and Gyan is positive about it.”
Enter the further twist. The Sunderland Echo‘s senior football man, Graeme Anderson, who I respect, has now posted the following comment at GhanaWeb: “This is Graeme Anderson here from the Sunderland Echo – this story is untrue. The quotes attributed to the Echo, as far as we are aware, have never been published in it.”
So where did the quotes appear? I’d need to know the answer to that before judging whether I could be as confident as I was when they were supposedly in the Echo that they had actally been spoken by someone who knew what he or she was talking about.
With that heavy proviso, should we have him back then? Yes, as part of the further strengthening needed this summer and in the knowledge that O’Neill wanted it, I would be willing to forgive and, perhaps more slowly, forget. Since we do not know what else will be happening, on the outs as well as the ins, I just wouldn’t want him to be considered our main sources of goals.
* See also: a view from the Gulf, shared back in January with Salut! Sunderland: http://salutsunderland.com/2012/01/asamoah-gyan-and-the-view-from-the-gulf-fit-fast-exceptional-ability/
** And see the GhanaWeb story at this link