x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Wahda shelve Opoku plans

Al Wahda have pulled out of the signing of Ghana forward Agyeman Opoku as he will spend a large part of the season on international duty.

ABU DHABI // Al Wahda have pulled out of the signing of Ghana forward Agyeman Opoku as he will spend a large part of the season on international duty. Opoku, 20, is in the Ghana team for the U20 World Cup, played from September 24 to October 16 in Egypt and is expected to then make the step upto the senior team, raising the prospect of him being unaailable in Janury due to the African CUp of Nations.

Opoku was to arrive from the Qatari club Al Sadd on a one-year loan, and join the experienced Brazilians Fernando Baiano (30) and Pinga (28) to complete the three foreign signings of the capital club. "We have run on to a severe problem. It is unfortunate Opoku will not be able to spend full time with us because of national duty. We are happy for the player but at the same time the crisis of finding a new player has deepened," saud the club's deputy chief executive officer Khaled Awadh.

"We were already behind time in completing our trio of overseas players. It takes time for any player to adapt with a new team and new environment, but really, we have no other choice than to keep looking for a player who can hopefully gel into the squad as quickly as possible." Al Wahda had earlier pulled off a major coup in signing last season's leading scorer Baiano, who spent the year on loan at city rivals Al Jazira from Real Murcia, and retaining the midfielder Pinga for a third year. Awadh saidthe decision to sign Baiano and Pinga early in the season have been undone after failing to complete their foreign signings on time.

"The technical committee has been in talks with several players but they all broke down for some reason or the other. We are still hopeful we can get hold of a decent player who can fit in our lineup very quickly," he said Opoku emerged as a star in the 2005 Africa U17 Championships and was a member of the Ghanaian team at the 2005 U17 World Championship in Peru. apassela@thenational.ae