Gabon's Evouna leaves China for Turkish side Konyaspor

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport
Malick Evouna
Gabon international striker Malick Evouna scored three goals in ten appearances for China's Tianjin Teda

Gabon striker Malick Evouna has left Chinese side Tianjin Teda to join Turkish top-flight club Konyaspor on a season-long loan.

He moved to China from Egypt's Al Ahly in a record transfer in July 2016, scoring three goals in ten appearances, but spent the last six months playing with Tianjin Teda's reserves.

"Konyaspor has grown as a club in terms of brand value in recent years and I hope to make strong contributions here," 24-year-old Evouna told the club's website. external-link

"I've only had a little training session with the team, but I've been working hard on my own.

"I'm just between 65 and 70 per cent ready and hope to improve that as soon as possible," Evouna said.

The Gabonese striker said he was thrilled to be in Turkey.

"Delighted to be here, the beautiful atmosphere of the city and the facilities will help me in terms of conditioning. I feel much more comfortable here."

Konyaspor have the option to sign Evouna permanently at the end of the loan period.

Top club official Fatih Yınma revealed Konyaspor beat off stiff opposition from big-spending English Championship side Birmingham City to sign Evouna.

"The reason it took so long to sign Malick was the interest from British club Birmingham City, they made a £6 million pounds offer to the Chinese club," he said.

"Luckily we managed to convince the player during his visit, we shared our philosophy with him and accepted the option to sign him on a permanent deal."

Evouna became the most expensive player in Egyptian football history when he joined Al Ahly for US$2.5m (£1.9m) in July 2015 from Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca.

He spent just a season, scoring 12 goals in 24 matches to help them win their 38th Egyptian league title, before leaving for China.

Evouna has scored 10 goals in 24 appearances for his country and played for the Panthers at the 2015 and 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

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