Three New Faces on Trial
With resources extremely limited, and the playing squad relatively light, I was delighted to secure the arrival of 3 new faces on trial, each of them bringing a wealth of experience and some much needed quality into the club. Hopefully over the coming weeks, there will be enough desire, commitment and quality still in the tank from these 3 to secure a longer term contract with the club. First in is a player I first saw playing with the youth team and Manchester City, where there was no doubting he was one of the stand out players of the group. Since then, Daniel Sturridge has gone on to play for 3 of the biggest clubs in England, breaking through at City before then forcing a move to Chelsea where he felt he could increase both his honours and recognition further. During his time at Stamford Bridge, he also had a successful loan spell at Bolton, scoring an extremely impressive 8 goals in 12 games. While at Chelsea, he picked up 2 FA Cup winners’ medals, a Premier league title and also the UEFA Champions League. At the beginning of 2013, Sturridge was on the move again, heading back north to join Liverpool in a deal worth around £12 million. An outstanding first full season saw him named in the PFA Team of the year, but then once again injuries began to blight his career, and he would make just 12 PL appearances the following season, and 14 the season after. Eventually, in January 2018 he joined West Brom for the remainder of the season, but again suffered an injury setback, making just 6 appearances with the Baggies. Back at Liverpool, he was again back in the goals in both the league and Champions’ League, culminating in another winners’ medal, although he didn’t appear in the final. A few days after the historic win, becoming the first player to lift the famous trophy with 2 different clubs, he was released by Liverpool. Last season, he spent the year in the Turkish Super League with Trabzonspor, initially signing a 3 year contract with the club but eventually being released in March 2020, having scored 7 goals in 16 games for the club. This was followed by news that he had received a 4 month worldwide playing ban for breaching betting rules, an infringement which led to his release from the Turkish side. Without a club since, I’m hoping he will show the same desire and hunger from his earlier career to earn a longer term deal.
Joining him on trial is former Internazionale left back Kwadwo Asamoah. Asamoah first came to recognition at Udinese, making his debut in the Italian cup. Representing the club over 100 times, he eventually earned a switch to Italian giants Juventus in a co-ownership deal. It was here he would earn both recognition and honours, picking up a Serie A winners’ medal in each of his 6 seasons with the club, as well as 4 Coppa Italia and 3 Supercoppas. During his final season, he decided to run down his contract with the club, and in the summer of 2018 agreed a deal with Internazionale, making his debut in August that season in the opening game against Sassuolo. In total he would spend 2 years with the Milan based club, finishing runner up in the Europa League in his final season, before again finding himself out of contract. With over 70 caps for Ghana, Asamoah is a versatile, intelligent player, who if he can stay fit could prove to be the ideal backup for Gaya at left-back.
The final new face on trial is a man who is no stranger to the fans and the club, legendary Argentine centre-half Ezequiel Garay. Garay is held with massive respect at the club, having agreed to leave back in February after suffering a long term injury, so that the club would be able to bring in a replacement. Actions like that transcend ability on the pitch, and I felt it only right now that he is fit again to give him the option and opportunity to try and win a new deal. Even if he doesn’t manage to do enough, or look better than what we already have, it is a win-win from the perspective of the club and the player, a reward for his loyalty but also an opportunity for him to get some training and games under his belt to earn a new contract somewhere. Having previously featured in La Liga with Real Madrid and Racing Santander before his 4 year stint with the club, he also starred at both Benfica, picking up a league title, cup, 2 league cups and finishing runner up in the Europa League twice, and Zenit St. Petersburg, where he won the league, cup and Russian Super Cup. Part of the team that also lifted the Copa Del Rey back in 2018-19, the fans have a lot of time and love for the 33 year old, which I’m hoping will also help their respect for me.Share this: