UAE side Al Ain expect Asamoah Gyan to make instant impact on AFCON return
UAE side Al Ain expect their Ghanaian striker Asamoah Gyan to hit the ground running when he returns to action for the club this weekend.
Al Ain coach Cosmin Olaroiu is refusing to rate the performance of his star performer’s showing at the recent African Cup of Nations insisting he is only concerned about his performances for the club.
Despite failing to make as big an impact for his national team, with whom he has scored 31 goals in 68 appearances, Al Ain coach Olaroiu has encouraged Gyan to throw himself back into club competition.
After returning from last year’s African Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, where Ghana also finished fourth and Gyan also scored only once, he returned to net the second in a 2-0 win over Dubai Club.
And Olaroiu is hoping for a repeat this year as the club heads into the AFC Champions League group stage, which starts on February 27.
“Last year he came after the competition and immediately he played [well] against Dubai Club. Now he has [another] great chance to play with us — to show the real Asamoah Gyan,” Olaroiu said.
Asked to rate Gyan’s latest African Nations campaign, Olaroiu said: “I don’t have to evaluate his performance with Ghana. It’s [his performance] with us that’s my problem.
“They play a different way, they have different players. I know this, I saw this and I spoke to him about it. He plays different there. But we have to judge him for what he does here, not there, they are different circumstances.”
Captain Gyan, 27, scored just once in a 3-0 group phase win over Niger as he seemed starved of the usual support heaped upon him at club level.
He is six goals off equalling his own top scorer’s tally of 27 goals in all domestic competitions this season, giving him a total of 48 goals in 38 appearances since joining Al Ain from English club Sunderland.