Kolkata: Defending Indian Super League champions ATK roped in former Newcastle Untied midfielder Ryan Taylor as a replacement for Carl Baker, who suffered an Achilles tendon injury in the pre-season and returned home having not played a single game in the competition.
“I am very excited to play for ATK. I know ATK has a huge fan following who share a high level of passion for their team. I will give my best, for the team and we will get back to winning ways,” said the 33-year-old after the joining the two time ISL champions.
Ryan who last played for Port Vale, began his career with Tranmere Rovers in 2002 making 122 league and Cup appearances for the ‘Super White Army’ across three seasons. A midfielder who can also play as a full-back, he was named the club’s Player of the Year in 2004-05 and was also voted into the PFA Team of the Year. He was eventually sold to Wigan Athletic, then in the top-flight division for a fee of £750,000. Playing in the Premier League, injuries however hampered his cause and he could only play 56 matches scoring six goals, four of which came against Newcastle United, a club he went on to join next.
In February 2009, he was traded to the ‘Magpies’ in a part-exchange deal for Charles N’zogbia. He helped the club achieve promotion back to the English Premier League after winning the Championships in his very first season but injuries once again hampered his progress, ruling him out for the next 26 months. Although he scored on return against Manchester City, the club have had enough of him and eventually released him in 2015. He played for the likes of Hull city and Port Vale since then, in short-term contacts before joining ATK.
The versatile player has also made five appearances for the England U-21 side, three of which came in a losing cause including his debut match against Austria. A dead ball specialist, Alan Pardew once said, “That right foot of his is a fantastic weapon.” Coming to India Ryan will join a team full of big names, from head coach Teddy Sheringham to marquee signing Robbie Keane.