Kamaldeen: Ghana star bares it all on why he snubbed Ajax for Rennes

Getty Images

Ghana international Kamaldeen Sulemana has revealed that the potential of limited playing time at Ajax had impacted his decision to choose Rennes as his new club.

The 19-year-old was the subject of an intense transfer battle between the two clubs, having caught attention with outstanding displays in the Danish Superliga for Nordsjaelland.

Manchester United, Liverpool and German side Bayer Leverkusen were also mentioned in the race for his services.

“With Rennes, I get to play in Ligue 1 which is one of the best leagues in the whole world, so that’s enough of my reason,” Kamaldeen said when asked about his decision to reject Ajax, during his official unveiling on Monday.

“And I think I chose here based on my playing time and I think there’s a better chance of me playing more here than any other place, and I’ll play against great teams here as well.”

Last season, Kamaldeen netted 10 times and registered four assists in the Belgian top division.

It was just his second season of professional football, having joined Nordsjaelland from Ghanaian outfit Right to Dream Academy.

“I chose Rennes because when I came for the visit, I spoke to coach [Bruno Genesio] and I spoke to [technical director] Florian [Maurice] and the project was very interesting and was good for me, and I felt here was the right place for me,” he further explained.

“They have a lot of young talent and they have produced a lot of good talent outside, the likes of [Ousmane] Dembele, a lot of players, [Eduardo] Camavinga, Jeremy Doku.

“And some Ghanaians also played here, like Asamoah Gyan who is like the top scorer in Ghana history. And I felt this is the place for me to be, also to improve myself and get to where I want to be in future."

Ghana legend Gyan played for Rennes between 2008 and 2010 before leaving for English side Sunderland after a fine 2010 World Cup campaign.

Did Kamaldeen speak to the striker as he weighed his move to the French fold where he would sign a five-year deal reportedly worth €20 million?

“I didn’t speak to any player from Ghana who played here,” the winger responded when asked whether he spoke to the veteran forward who now plays club football back in Ghana.

Article continues below

“The only player I spoke to is [Michael] Essien because he is a coach in FC Nordsjaelland and he’s also my neighbour, so we spoke about this league.

"And of course he played in Bastia with Florian and also played in Lyon, so I also spoke to him about the league here and how interesting it could be for my development.”

Kamaldeen could make his competitive Rennes debut when they host Lens in matchweek one of Ligue 1 on August 8.