Winger Frank Acheampong has revealed how he ended up with Chinese Super League club Tianjin Teda instead of his professed dream move to the English Premier League.
While at Belgian side RSC Anderlecht, the Ghana international was the subject of ‘concrete interest’ from England when Marco Silva tried to sign him for Hull City.
But the 24-year-old was denied that January move. Later in the summer, he became tired of waiting for another move to happen, this time to Watford and chose instead to go to China, initially on loan.
“Everyone knows what happened Anderlecht said no. I had to stay to help win the title,” said the former King Faisal player.
“The board even made an offer of 7 million euros. Of course I was angry – Anderlecht then took my dream away from me – and I did not hide that.
‘The board had a hard time talking to me and in the end, we reached a fair agreement: I was allowed to go for a limited amount where I wanted provided we became champions,” Acheampong further revealed.
In his first first five matches in the Super League, Acheampong fell out of the selection four times. But after that difficult period, he became the hero of the city by scoring twice in the derby against Tianjin Quanjian.
Acheampong: In that match, “I played in behind Mbaye Diagne. Axel Witsel could barely follow me. I shouted to him in laughter that it was not Anderlecht vs Standard derby! If we had lost that match, we were almost into rellegation with half a leg. And just in that match, I score twice in two minutes. I was out of the world for a moment. I remember that I thought: what happens to me here? I had just saved the club from relegation.”
And, after scoring four goals in his first 12 appearances, Tianjin have now made the deal permanent for a fee of £6million.