When Significant League Soccer (MLS) facet Cincinnati FC signed Ghanaian youngster Isaac Atanga on 31 March from Danish leading-flight side Nordsjaelland it caused shock in some quarters.
Rather of heading to North The us several envisioned the promising winger to make a go to a person of the elite leagues in Europe.
Following all his compatriot, as properly as previous Nordsjaelland team-mate, Mohammed Kudus was snapped up Dutch Eredivisie powerhouse Ajax Amsterdam in the summer time of 2020.
The 20-yr-previous merchandise of Ghana’s Ideal to Dream Academy, which also owns Nordsjaelland, experienced been connected to Scottish champions Rangers, Spanish aspect Alaves, Dutch aspect Feyenoord as perfectly as Belgian duo Anderlecht and Club Brugge.
“[Mohammed] Kudus is a amazing player and where ever he is now I’m joyful and happy of him. But we both equally are two diverse individuals and are not able to have the exact decision,” Atanga explained to BBC Sport Africa.
“I decided to go to MLS mainly because I come to feel it is a good league to play in. So I’m satisfied with my selection and energized to enjoy for FC Cincinnati.”
A altering image?
With MLS from time to time witnessed as anything of ‘retirement league’, exactly where some stars in particular go to devote the twilight of their professions, Atanga is adamant that his move to North America will not be eternally.
“Not all individuals assume the identical, some believe it’s a phase down but I believe it’s a different large phase up to my aspiration and I’m excited about that,” he insisted.
In truth in latest moments younger talent has been on the transfer to Europe from MLS with the likes of Alphonso Davies going from Vancouver Whitecaps to Bayern Munich, AS Roma signing of US intercontinental Bryan Reynolds and Tyler Adams’ transfer from New York Red Bulls to Bundesliga aspect RB Leipzig.
“My expectation with FC Cincinnati is to reach greatness. I’m heading to give anything in my power to enable them,” he continued.
“The American life-style did not play a component in my determination to go to MLS, it’s a very exciting league and I want to also be component.”
Atanga’s compatriot and fellow previous Appropriate To Dream Academy trainee David Accam is a single gentleman who has moved back to Europe just after a stint in MLS.
In 2014 Accam was in demand from customers in Europe just after a purple-patch of scoring variety in the Swedish prime-flight with Helsingborg but he moved to North The us, wherever he expended 7 yrs.
The 30-yr-old Ghana global is presently on loan back in Sweden with Hammarby from Nashville, who he joined in 2020 soon after stints at Chicago Fire, Philadelphia Union and Columbus Crew.
“I never have any regrets transferring to MLS but the only regret I had was not forcing my way out soon after 2-3 seasons in MLS when I experienced features in the top rated five leagues in the world,” Accam discussed.
“I do not assume it is a step down likely to MLS. I look at MLS to be a growth or a stepping stone for younger gamers to go on to more substantial leagues in the globe.
“I went by the gives I had with my household and management and at that moment, placing all the things into thing to consider, I believe the greatest provide on the desk was MLS.
“I do not want to mention names [of clubs] but I had two features in Europe, two in North The us and one particular in Asia.”
An included reward for Atanga is that Cincinnati FC have a partnership deal with German Bundesliga side 1899 Hoffenheim which could aid in any bid he has to play in Europe yet again.