At just fourteen-years-of-age, Ghanaian-born American youngster Freddy Adu was dubbed the ‘New Pele’.
He was tipped for big things and just before his fifteenth birthday, he signed a contract with Major League Soccer (MLS) Side D.C United.
It is of course, Freddy Adu.
Nine years on and the ‘New Pele’ has been to Europe (Failed) and has returned to where he began in the United States of America where he, for the moment, plays for Eastern Conference MLS side Philadelphia Union.
Fredua Koranteng Adu’s time in Europe wasn’t quite how one would’ve planned. In 2007, after surprisingly rejecting offers from Inter Milan, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona – amongst others – the American decided on Portuguese side Benfica as his preferred choice.
Despite seeing out the full duration of his contract at Benfica, Adu managed only eleven first team appearances in his four year stay at the club. This stay included loan spells away at AS Monaco, Belenenses, Aris and Turkish side Caykur Rizespor, where he again failed to impress or cement a first team place.
Seeing his contract draw to a close in Portugal, Adu returned to the MLS with Philadelphia Union where he’s currently still contracted.
However, his Philadelphia career looks to be finished as the side look to offload their high earners amidst financial difficulty – Adu currently earns approximately $600,000 per annum.
Recent reports have suggested that the 23-year-old’s and his agent have this week travelled to Brazilian side Esporte Clube Bahia, or simply Bahia, in an attempt to secure a move to the South American team.
The Brazilian Serie A season begins again in May and should Adu force a deal soon, he may be ready to begin the campaign a Bahia player.
At the age of 23, Adu still has his whole football life ahead of him and the Brazilian league may be just what’s needed to kick-start what can still be a great career.