Soccer News of Tuesday, 7 January 2014
...after one-year absence
Ghana midfielder Anthony Annan returned to action on Monday after a one-year injury-induced absence boosting his chances of playing for the Black Stars at the 2014 World Cup, GHANAsoccernet.com can exclusively reveal.
The 27-year-old, who plays for German side Schalke, was in action in their 2-1 friendly win over Qatari side Al Gharafa in Doha on Monday night.
It was Annan’s first match since suffering an ankle injury that ruined his participation in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
Annan came on as a substitute in the 64th minute as he took over from Neustädter in the victory over the Qatari side.
He was impressive in his 26 minutes on the pitch and showed signs of his brilliance and crucially also demonstrated that he has put all his injury problems behind him.
The Ghana international was declared surplus to requirements by Schalke last year after returning from loan at Osasuna.
But he was recalled to join the club for the winter pre-season in Qatar after he reported to the club that he has recovered from injury.
He has now fully recovered from the ankle problem and could now play a part in matches for Schalke before his contract expires in June.
Annan has been linked with a move to Turkey with Fenerbahce and Besiktas reported to be interested in signing him.
His return is also a boost for Ghana as he could fight for a place in the 2014 World Cup squad.
Annan joined Die Konigsblauen for €2m from Norwegian side Rosenborg in January 2011 but never had the opportunities to make an impact.
The 27-year-old was first loaned to Dutch Eredivisie side Vitesse Arnhem where he played them clinch a Europa League spot.
Annan is reported to have rejected two offers to leave Schalke 04 during last summer’s transfer window.
He last played a competitive match in February last year for Osasuna before being sidelined by an ankle injury he aggravated.