Date:Friday July 20 2007
The third signing in five days came as Sulley Muntari became our club record signing for a fee of £7m on 30th May.
As a 17-year old he had a trial with United, but even though he impressed he signed for Udinese in 2002. A high transfer fee was said to have put off United.
Muntari had been showing excellent form for Udinese, but the world cup in 2006 saw his talents witnessed by the world audience as he starred for Ghana as they made the 2nd round.
His performances at the world cup alerted several Premiership, as well as top Italian sides, to his true talent. It is 'reported' that Pompey had a bid rejected and he stayed with Udinese even though he desired a move - with United his preferred destination.
The January '07 window opened with more reported interest from Pompey - yet again nothing happened as interest from Italian sides also increased, with Milan, Juventus and Inter all said to be interested, be it that January or in the summer.
Harry Redknapp's year long pursuit finally concluded with success as the 22-year old signed a 5-year contract for a club record fee of £7m in May, with Muntari saying 'he had been a Pompey fan for a year'.
Football Italia have described Muntari as 'showing himself to possess the touch of Kaka and the combativeness of Edgar Davis, he is definitely a player to keep a close eye on'.
He has been purchased as a lot more than just an important first team player, he has been signed to start most games and is good enough to do so - he should form a formidable midfield partnership with Pedro Mendes, although he can play on the left too.
Muntari has a great attacking flair with an eye for goal and is a danger from set pieces, so we should look out for some spectaculars - and not just from Mendes and Matty Taylor - this season. He is no shrieking violet though and if far from afraid from getting stick in, 3 red cards in 20 odd games last season shows this - with all of them coming in the opening 16 games.
His temperament could be a worry but it is widely viewed that these red cards could have been more out of frustration at not getting the move away he wanted. Redknapp has told him to 'calm down', something which he has agreed to do.
Muntari is a quality, quality player that proved to be a sign of things to come - in terms of money spent, as well as quality. Plenty is expected from the Ghanaian over the next 5-years - at least - and I feel sure we will get plenty - and more!
PLAY UP POMPEY!
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Date:Friday July 20 2007
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