The next chapter of Jermaine Pennant’s topsy-turvy career will come in Singapore after the one-time Champions League finalist penned a one-year deal with Tampines Rovers.
The winger has been making headlines – on the front and back pages – ever since Arsenal made him the most expensive trainee ever, paying £2million to sign the 15-year-old from Notts County in 1999.
Pennant struggled to make an impact in north London but was a Premier League regular for clubs such as Birmingham, Liverpool, and Stoke.
The 33-year-old was an FA Cup runner-up with the latter five years ago and started the 2007 Champions League final in Athens, where Liverpool lost 2-1 to AC Milan.
Now, though, Pennant will be playing in the S-League, having previously spent spells in Spain and India.
“There’s going to be more signings to come and it shows they want to go big, they want to achieve big, so that was really a done deal,” he said at a specially-convened signing ceremony.
“I wanted to be part of it. Everyone has made me feel welcome, the country is fantastic.
“You put that all together and it’s a no-brainer, really.”
Tampines have reportedly made Pennant the best-paid player in the S-League’s 21-year history – figures chairman Krishna Ramachandra would not confirm, only saying he was being paid a “sexy figure”.
Pennant has not played a competitive match since leaving Wigan in the summer but is excited by the chance of making history in Singapore, just like he did back in 1999.
“I am here to try and make history again,” he said. “I will give 110 per cent on the pitch, off the pitch, any way I can help.
“That’s what I am here for and I look forward to it.
“I am really looking forward to the chance to do something special for Singapore and Tampines.”