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Ghana's Asamoah Gyan relishing Sunderland challenge

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Sunderland unveil record signing Gyan

By Michael Oti Adjei
BBC Sport, Accra

New Sunderland signing Asamoah Gyan insists his huge price tag will not be a burden as he prepares for his debut in the English Premier League.

The Ghana striker made the move from Stade Rennes in France to the Stadium of Light in England on the final day of the transfer window.

Sunderland say they paid in excess of £13m for the 24-year-old.

Gyan was in incredibly good spirits on international duty with Ghana in Swaziland over the weekend.

According to Gyan, those good spirits are a direct result of the move he describes as a highlight of his career.

"It has been my dream to go to England and it is one of the best moments of my career," he told BBC Sport.

But with that dream move clinched, Gyan knows every day will be like a trial to justify the price tag and prove himself worthy of the money.

He says he is ready for the challenge.

"Definitely I can deal with the pressure, Sunderland is not like Chelsea who can buy players for £15m, but they did which suggests the coach has a lot of confidence in me and sees the calibre of player I am," said the 24-year old.

Sunderland is not like Chelsea who can buy players for £15m, but they did which suggests the coach has a lot of confidence in me and sees the calibre of player I am.

New Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan

"As a spearhead people will expect you to score goals.

"Secondly they bought me with a huge amount of money and most of the fans will be expecting extraordinary things.

"But I am somebody who can soak up the pressure.

"It is normal that some criticism will come but as an attacker you just have to focus and do your job."

Dealing with criticism is something Gyan has had to do all his football life.

Despite having an international record of almost a goal every two games for Ghana, major questions are still asked about his goalscoring abilities.

His 14 goals in two seasons at Stade Rennes, where he scored only once in his first season after arriving from Udinese in Italy in the summer of 2008, does not suggest a prolific goalscoring streak and Gyan freely admits to that.

"I am a team player and I make sure I play collectively for the team to win but as an attacker everybody expects you to score - that is the most important thing.

606: DEBATE

"That is what I am working on - my goalscoring to make sure I score a lot of goals."

Gyan could be playing up front alongside England striker Darren Bent who scored 25 goals for Sunderland last season.

It is a prospect that excites the Ghanaian and one he is convinced will bring the best out in both strikers.

"He has got a lot of pace and I have pace too but individually I can hold the ball well and I think we are going to cause harm to a lot of defenders," he says.

"I hope everything goes on well.

"I pray to God to protect me from injury and we see where the future lies."



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see also
Mensah confident of Gyan success
07 Sep 10 |  Sunderland
Sunderland pay 13m to sign Gyan
31 Aug 10 |  Sunderland
Gyan devotes Ghana win to Africa
26 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Gyan signs for Rennes
11 Jul 08 |  African


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