Al Ain’s new hot shot Douglas has vowed to fire in the goals which will see his name held in the same reverence as club legend Asamoah Gyan.
Douglas, 28, was unveiled Tuesday as the latest leading striker at the Arabian Gulf League champions. The Brazilian has inked a two-and-a-half-year deal after a €3.9 million (Dh15.6m) fee was agreed with Japanese J2 League club Tokushima Vortis.
The Boss sold 95-goal icon Gyan to Shanghai SIPG in the summer, with Fenerbahce loanee Emmanuel Emenike failing to replicate his success. The 2015 J League’s 22-goal second top scorer while on a temporary contract at Sanfrecce Hiroshima is confident he has the ability to follow in the Ghana skipper’s exalted footsteps.
“I know it’s a challenge, but I’m willing to show what I’m capable of and willing to struggle and fight to score goals,” Douglas replied when asked about Gyan’s legacy. “I hope the fans will remember my name and I’ll make them happy.
“I hope to pay back all the support the fans are giving me and to play well and get many victories.”
Douglas was highly coveted after his exploits at Sanfrecce helped them secure the J League title.
Initial talks to bring him to the Garden City began two months ago, with the AGL leaders fending off
rival domestic, Qatari, Saudi Arabian and Chinese interest in him.
He said: “I’d like to thank Al Ain, to everyone that gave their effort to complete this transfer. I had different options, but I chose this club.
“I’m confident I’m well prepared and with the help of the other players and the team I’m pretty sure I can achieve all our objectives. I want to have one more title at the end of the season and I hope to win all the games.”
Emenike is expected to head back to Fener or face a new challenge in the Chinese Super League just six months after his arrival. A haul of seven goals in 14 games was deemed inadequate by boss Zlatko Dalic, who has challenged Douglas to improve significantly on that return. He said: “We need a striker who will score 15-20 goals. I’m sure it’s the right choice from our side.
“Thank you to my management for giving my chance again to sign such a player. I’m sure we’ll make a good job.
“Also now I want to say thank you to Emenike and (Netherlands winger Ryan) Babel for the last six months with us. I wish them all the best at a new club – this is football, this is life.
“We’ve had a great half season, I’m sure we’ve had great transfer window and did everything our fans expected of us.”
Douglas has plenty of time to adapt to his new surroundings, with the Boss next in action at home to on-song Al Wasl on January 23.
“We play passing football, but missed a lethal striker,” Dalic said. “We have local players who can do anything, give fantastic passes – we needed this guy.
“We will see how he is for the next game.”
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