Stade Rennais finally completed the signing of Rosenborg powerhouse midfielder Alexander Tettey last night, and the 23-year-old was pleased to speak of comparisons made in the press between himself and fellow Ghanaian, Michael Essien, who continues to star in the Premier League for Chelsea.
“People say I've got the same type of game and same qualities as Michael Essien,” he said, according to Ligue 1’s official website. “That is to say I'm fast and powerful. My role is to win the ball and then keep it. I'm someone who likes to be very involved on the pitch. If I'm a defensive player, I can also score goals as I proved at Rosenborg.”
Though he was born in Accra, Tettey is a Norwegian international. Despite this diverse background, he apparently knows quite a bit about the Breton side he joined for €4 million, having signed a four-year contract.
“I know Asamoah Gyan because he plays for the country where I was born,” he said. “I know Ismael Bangoura from Dynamo Kyiv, the Swedish international Petter Hansson, Jimmy Briand and Jerome Leroy. There are some really good players here and I can't wait to play with them in a league which is one of the best in Europe.”
Rennes head coach Frederic Antonetti, who was the man who unearthed Essien, is not convinced his new charge can quite scale the heights attained by the former Bastia man. “He's a complete midfielder,” he explained. “He's good at winning the ball, he's powerful, always up to something and he can get forward quickly as well. That said it is too early to say whether he'll reach Essien's level. Tettey is not as massive for starters.”
Tettey joins Rennes as the replacement for Stephane Mbia, who joined Olympique de Marseille in the summer. With the Ligue 1 season starting on August 8, he will be hard pushed to feature against Boulogne, although having been in the midst of the Norwegian season, he should not be lacking in match fitness.
Robin Bairner, Goal.com