Former Sheffield Wednesday defender Kamil Zayatte has claimed he purposely avoided playing for the Owls in order to be fit to play international football for Guinea, reports the Sheffield Star.
The 27-year-old, who was released by Wednesday last month, told a reporter in his homeland that he avoided returning to action in order to play in the Africa Cup of Nations.
“There were times when I even refused to play for my club to be ready for the [Cup of Nations],” Zayatte told Foot224. “My coaches saw I was ready but every time there was a match, I said that I had to wait to return.”
A hamstring injury had kept the defender out for three months in the first half of the season but he was included in the festive fixtures against Blackpool and Wigan, although he failed to come off the bench in both of those matches.
The Sheffield Star understands that Zayatte carried an injury into the tournament and did not play for Guinea, who were knocked out in the quarter finals.
The defender has now had to defend himself from accusations that he only went to the Africa Cup of Nations for the money and knew he would be not fit to play, which he firmly denies.
Asked about his time at Hillsborough, he said: “Personally, I would say that the results are mixed [his time at Wednesday].
“During my two years in Sheffield, I had difficult times. With the death of my mother, mourning. It was very difficult for me.
“Each time I came back to my best level, be it in a club or [national team], there were glitches.
The former Hull City defender joined Sheffield Wednesday in August 2013 and went on to make 21 appearances, scoring twice.
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