May 9, 2021

Al-Hilal-linked Esso and four others leave Hearts of Oak 

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The 23-year-old, together with Benjamin Agyare, Christopher Bonney, Bernard Arthur and Abubakar Troare, has ended their spell with the club 

Hearts of Oak have parted ways with star striker Joseph Esso as well as the quartet of Benjamin Agyare, Christopher Bonney, Bernard Arthur and Abubakar Troare.

A social media post on the club’s official Facebook account indicates the five players left the club after deciding against renewing their expired contracts.

They featured for the Phobians in the Ghana Premier League (GPL) and FA Cup last season.

“Hearts of Oak management has met players Joseph Esso, Benjamin Agyare, Christopher Bonney, Bernard Arthur and Abubakar Troare and thanked them for their services as both sides opted not to extend their contracts,” Hearts posted.

“We wish them the very best of luck in their respective careers.”

Unarguably the biggest loss, Esso joined Hearts from Ebusua Dwarfs in 2018.

In December, the striker was reported to have attracted interest from Sudanese side Al-Hilal following a fine display for Ghana the 2019 Wafu Cup of Nations in Senegal. He netted two times to help the Black Stars finish second at the tournament.

Last season, he made 14 league appearances and scored three goals for Edward Odoom’s outfit.

“I’ve seen it [exit announcement post] on their [Hearts] social media and no one owns their media accounts,” Esso told Otec FM.

“I have nothing to talk about it.”

In June, the 23-year-old, who was voted by Ghana Premier League fans as Hearts’ most exciting player in the African Sports Centre for Data, Research and Technology’s 2019 Ghana Premier League Report, reportedly turned down a renewal offer worth $1000 (€851) a month from the Phobians.

“There has been no information on the contract expiration and renewal of the certain players,” Hearts board member Frank Nelson Nwokolo recently told Sikka FM.

“If a player decides not to play for hearts, it won’t be a big deal. No player will be forced to play for hearts. There is freedom of movement. We can only engage them in contract talks.

“We are appealing to our supporters to have trust in the board. The project is progressing very well.”

Hearts signed defender Agyare from Heart of Lions in 2018, the same year Bonney joined the Phobians as a free agent.

Former Azam FC forward Arthur transferred to the Accra-based outfit in August 2019, a year after Burkinabe striker Traore completed a switch to the 19-time league champions.

The quartet made a combined 14 Premier League appearances for Hearts last season.