Asamoah Gyan might be the Pro League’s top scorer this season but Al Ahli coach Quique Sanchez Flores would never pick the Ghanaian star over his own goal getter Grafite.
The two strikers are the runaway top goalscorers in the Pro League with Gyan already tallying an incredible 19 goals in 11 games while Grafite has 17 goals in the same number of games. The next top scorer in the league is Al Nasr’s Giuseppe Mascara with 10 goals.
Despite Gyan’s better goal tally, former Valencia coach Flores said: “For me (I would rather have) Grafite.”
While Flores wouldn’t discuss Gyan, the Al Ahli coach did wax lyrical about his star player’s ability to be unselfish and play within a team system.
“Grafite is a player who has come here and made a difference, that isn’t a just true in the UAE but everywhere (he has played),” expalined Flores.
“There is a reason that the foreign players that come are strikers because they can make a difference.”
Gyan has shot his Al Ain team to the top of the Pro League with a six point lead over Grafite’s Al Ahli. However, the pace-setters have spread the scoring out among their team with 45 goals in just 11 games.
Meanwhile, Grafite has scored 17 of his side’s 29 league goals this year, leading some to question whether Al Ahli live and die by their Brazilian star, but Quique disagrees.
“Our foreign players are important to us, we know the good things about Grafite’s game in the same way we know Gyan’s with Al Ain, (Emiliano) Alfaro for Al Wasl; these players are important to a team, but our team is more important than just Grafite,” the Spaniard added.
“Al Ahli has life and Grafite is very important but our play doesn’t centre around Grafite.
"Grafite plays inside our system, and that is the most important thing. The best thing about Grafite is his mentality, he knows he plays in a system.”