By Sammie Frimpong
With the commencement of the winter transfer window drawing ever closer, a number of European clubs seem bent on luring arguably Ghana’s most high-profile footballer out of the virtual paradise he has enjoyed in the United Arab Emirates for the last 18 months.
Back in July 2012 when Asamoah Gyan switched life with Sunderland in the English Premier League for adventures in the Middle East, namely, with UAE outfit Al Ain, many were those who felt the 28-year-old was headed for little more than a premature pension. The money involved in the deal was of monstrous proportions, the opposition awaiting him predictably easy, and, indeed, Gyan would admit he has found it so.
Earning US$16 million-a-year has certainly enriched Gyan's coffers, while the 70 goals he has scored -and still counting- have helped earn him topscoring rights in that country's Pro League in consecutive seasons. If anything, Gyan now abounds in confidence, goals, and, of course, cash. And that could hardly be for the worse. Put simply, Asamoah Gyan is the UAE's biggest star at present.
So just why would he want to return to Europe now?
Well, for at least two simple reasons.
First, a World Cup year beckons, and Gyan would be expected to lead Ghana's charge at the Mundial once more. Granted, Gyan has polished his prowess in front of goal a great deal in his time in the UAE but just how would he fare in Brazil against defenders infinitely more threatening than those he has been used to in the last year-and-a-half?
Again, exactly what legacy would Gyan wish to leave behind when he finally retires?
One of a Ghanaian legend who spent his best years whiling away and reaping financially from an easy league in Arabia, or that of an even more revered player who made a name for himself in the bigger waters of the game?
Of course, it isn't within the powers of this writer to determine just which of the options above Gyan should pick. Ideal reasoning, though, would suggest he chooses the latter. And that, quite obviously, would mean he responds positively to any good offer West Ham United or
Trabzonspor -or whichever other major European side interested in his services- table come January.
In the best interests of himself and of his country, the 'Baby Jet' ought to take off from Gulf territory - and soon.