Al Ain manager Zlatko Dalic has advised the club’s supporters to rally behind Nigerian striker Emmanuel Emenike, who filled the void after the departure of Asamoah Gyan to Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG last July.
Gyan, opted for new experience with a lucrative $350,000 weekly offer following his successful spell in the gulf region but his replacement Emenike, who is on loan from Fernabache, has not lived up to expectations and has come under severe criticisms.
Emenike scored two goals last weekend against Al Wasl in the league and manager Dalic has jumped to his defence insisting that supporters should encourage him rather than comparing him to Gyan.
“We have to forget about Gyan, he left and now we must see a future with Emenike,” Dalic was quoted as saying by The National.
“Emenike got two goals in the Super Cup [in a 4-2 win over Al Nasr last month] and now he’s got another two goals here.”
“We must be happy. It will be a hard job to replace Gyan, but Emenike is scoring goals and he’s doing his job.”
Gyan won three Arabian Gulf League titles and one President’s Cup with the Boss within four seasons, scoring more than 100 goals.
He also claimed three consecutive top scorer awards in the domestic league and emerged as the 2013 Asian Champions League goal king after netting 12 goals. He is Ghana’s all-time top scorer with 48 goals from 90 caps.