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Top 10 Ghanaian players whose transfers grabbed global headlines

Wed, 5 Aug 2020 Source: Pulse Ghana

Players who enjoy a good season become a major transfer target for big clubs.

Some of them are presented with multiple offers and their first choice is a club which is dear to their heart if only they pay the right money to secure their signature.

Football fans always wait anxiously during the transfer window and it is their greatest joy when news emerged that their idol club managed to sign their transfer target.

Ghanaians players over the years have also had their own share of some of the transfers that dominated the headlines in the world.

Below is a list of the top ten transfers that grabbed global headlines:

Tony Yeboah: Frankfurt to Leeds United (1995):



The former Ghana Premier League top scorer’s move from Eintracht Frankfurt to Leeds United dominated the headlines for quite some time.

He had already made a great impact in the Bundesliga by becoming the first African player to win the top scorer in the German topflight league, he won it in 1992 and 1993.

Anthony Yeboah joined Leeds United from the Bundesliga outfit for 3 million pounds in 1995 and some of the news portals reported that it was the theft of the season, because the fee appeared to be way below the pedigree of the Ghanaian forward.

He lived up to the expectation as he scored 24 goals in two seasons in the Premier League and in his second season, he emerged as the club’s best player, top scorer and his goal also won the goal of the season in the Premier League.

Michael Essien: Lyon to Chelsea (2005):



The Ghanaian joined Chelsea from French Ligue outfit Olympique Lyon.

Michael Essien had already established himself as a solid midfielder and Jose Mourinho who had started a project at Chelsea identified him as one of the players he could count on.

The Portuguese broke the bank by purchasing Essien for a 24.5 million pounds club-record fee, which also made him the most expensive African player at that time.

Michael Essien hit the ground running by playing a key role as Chelsea defended the Premier League title in the 2005/2006 season.

In the 2006/2007 season, the former Liberty Professionals midfielder won the Chelsea Player of the Season and his goal was also voted as the club’s Goal of the Season.

Michael Essien played in all departments of the game except in attack. Aside from his usual central midfield position, Michael Essien was explosive when operating from the right full-back and he added goal scoring to his play, especially in crucial games.

He is well remembered for his goals against Valencia, Arsenal and Barcelona.

Alex Nyarko: Lens to Everton (2000):



In 2000 he joined Everton F.C from Ligue 1 side Lens for £4.5 million, which was a big-money move at the time.

He signed a contract until June 2005 and scored his first and only goal for Everton against Tottenham Hotspur in September 2000.

However, he failed to live up to the billing at the club and he was abused by the fans for his consistently poor performance on the field.

He is infamous for an incident during the 2000–01 season where during a game against Arsenal a fan came on the pitch and offered him his own royal blue Everton shirt, signalling that Nyarko was not good enough to wear the colours of Everton. After the fan was escorted away by police, Nyarko requested to be substituted and transferred.

Asamoah Gyan: Sunderland to Al Ain (2011): Al Ain to Shanghai SIPG (2015):



The former Black Stars skipper became a poster boy at the Stadium of Light after his first season in the shirt of Sunderland.

He had a very good first season, which saw him score 10 Premier League goals and 11 goals in all competitions.

Asamoah Gyan, however, shocked the world when he joined Al Ain from Sunderland after some few games in his second season.

The world never understood the Ghana marksman for such a decision and many predicted his doom.

His goal scoring ratio at the national team however improved and he succeeded in proving everyone wrong that he didn’t make a bad move.

Nine years on following Asamoah Gyan’s transfer from Sunderland to Al Ain, he revealed in an interview with Pulse.com.gh that he was forced out of the club because Al Ain six 6 million pounds loan was too enticing for the Black Cats who were in financial difficulties to reject.

At Al Ain the 35-year-old won the top scorer’s award on three consecutive occasions and even emerged as the top scorer of the Asian Champions League in 2014.

Al-Ain to Shanghai SIPG (2015):

Asamoah Gyan in three seasons at Al Ain had bagged 123 goals in 123 games made another big-money move that grabbed the headlines.

Chinese outfit Shanghai SIPG signed Asamoah Gyan and what made it the talk of the town was his personal terms. He was paid $250,000 a week and it made him the highest-paid player in Africa and one of the top ten in the world.

Asamoah Gyan however, couldn’t replicate what he did at Al Ain due to series of injuries he suffered.

Kwadwo Asamoah: Udinese to Juventus (2012):



The Ghanaian wing-back joined Juventus at a time when he was already an influential figure at Udinese.

Asamoah and Udinese teammate Mauricio Isla both joined Juventus in July 2012 on co-ownership agreements, with Juventus paying €9 million for 50% of Asamoah's contract.

He made his debut on 11 August 2012 against Napoli in the 2012 Supercoppa Italiana, scoring a goal as Juventus went on to win 4–2 after extra time.

He won six consecutive Serie A titles with the Bianconeri, before leaving them for rivals Inter Milan.

Sulley Muntari: Inter Milan to AC Milan (2012):



The move of Sulley Muntari from Inter Milan to city rivals AC Milan was very shocking.

He seems to have been out of the scheme of things of Inter Milan and his career appeared to have taken a nosedive, yet he secured the move to AC Milan.

AC Milan announced Sulley Muntari after a good Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaign in 2012 with the Black Stars.

The transfer dominated the headlines for several weeks, especially in the Ghanaian media.

Muntari scored his first goal as a Milan player on his debut, in a Serie A away match against Cesena, which Milan won 3–1.

Andre Ayew: Swansea City to West Ham United (2015):



Andre Dede Ayew joined West Ham from Swansea City on a three-year deal.

West Ham said Ayew had joined for a club-record fee, confirmed by chairman David Gold to be worth £20.5 million.

After scoring 12 goals in the 2015/2016 Premier League campaign on his debut following a move from Marseille, Ayew signed on at West Ham.

His West Ham United move was, however, short-lived as he couldn't produce the same performance he showcased at Swansea City that made him fans favourite.

Baba Rahman: FC Augsburg to Chelsea (2015):



On 16 August 2015, Rahman signed for Chelsea on a five-year deal for an undisclosed fee, reported to be an initial £14 million, rising to a potential fee of almost £22 million. He made his debut on 16 September in a UEFA Champions League tie, playing the full 90 minutes in a 4–0 win at home to Maccabi Tel Aviv.

The Ghanaian, however, couldn’t break into the Chelsea team and was sent on loan to Schalke 04.

Baba Rahman has afterwards been shipped from one club to the other on loan.

Despite being consistent in his play, injury troubles have also been the bane of the Ghanaian left-full back.

Kevin-Prince Boateng: Sassuolo to Barcelona (2019):



The Ghanaian forward grabbed the headlines in 2019 when joined Barcelona from Sassuolo on a half season loan deal.

Being the first Ghanaian player to play for the Catalans, much premium was put on it and the media around the world didn’t stop talking about it.

Kevin-Prince Boateng’s six-month loan deal wasn’t renewed because he failed to find his sensational he had form some seasons back in the La Liga when he was with Las Palmas when he scored 10 league goals.

He struggled at Barcelona and failed to find the back of the net during his stay with the club.

Kudus Mohammed: FC Nordsjælland to AFC Ajax (2020):



The Black Stars midfielder completed his switch from FC Nordsjælland to AFC Ajax in July, 2020.

The club confirmed the attacking midfielder has signed a five-year contract until June 30, 2025 after passing a mandatory medical on Thursday in Amsterdam.

The Dutch champions paid 9 million euros plus bonuses and add-ons. This means Kudus becomes the most expensive teenager in the history of Ghana football.

The deal made him the most expensive Ghanaian teenager of all-time.

The 19-year-old joined Nordsjælland in 2018 after graduating from the Right to Dream Academy in Ghana.

He will wear the number 20 shirt at Ajax and will be looking to fill the big boots left by Hakim Ziyech.

Source: Pulse Ghana

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