Sports Features of 2014-01-09

Loans galore! As key Stars struggle to make World Cup date

Lured by sheer determination to make it into the final World Cup, some key players of the senior national team, the Black Stars, have been caught in crossfire to secure loan deals for competitive playing time as the countdown to the Brazil 2014 World Cup in summer inches closer.
Five of the players who are leading the loan stint craze - Michael Essien, Samuel Inkoom, strikers Abdul Majeed Warris and Asamoah Gyan as well as Jordan Ayew are regular members of the senior national team and were in the team in the Black Stars’ last game against Egypt in the crucial World Cup qualifier while the other, Anthony Annan has not been seen in the national colours since the team’s ill-fated campaign at the 2012 Africa Nations Cup.
For Essien, the signs have been long clear to him that his dreams of making a second strong appearance at the mundial would depend on a move from Chelsea, but he is torn between Serie A side Juventus, Turkish giants Galatasray and a host of other clubs where he would be guaranteed regular playing time.
The ace midfielder who made an impressive return into the Stars team after a three-year absence is now awaiting the nod of his manager, Fabian Piveteau, even though Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho has given his approval for a loan spell for the player.
But while Essien is looking for an experience outside England, striker Asamoah Gyan is considering g a move into England for a more competitive spell within the turbulence of the English premiership and he hopes to tie a deal with West Ham.
However, Jordan Ayew, Abdul Majeed Warris and Samuel Inkoom have succeeded as they have landed loan spells before the January transfer window closes.
Jordan who has been starved of playing time completed a loan move to French League 1 side Sochaux earlier in the week, while Warris also concluded a similar deal to Spanish side, Valenciennes a day after from Spartak Moscow with Inkoom securing move to Greek side, Platinias which he described as a huge relief.