Former Al Ahly forward Junior Ajayi has opened up on his time at the club after leaving Cairo earlier this year.
Ajayi departed Al Ahly last February after his deal was terminated due to a series of injuries and the signings of Percy Tau and Luis Miquissone.
The 26-year-old then had a short spell at Libyan side Al-Nasr Benghazi before completing his return to the Egyptian Premier League after joining Smouha back in July.
During his time at Al Ahly, Ajayi won a total of 10 trophies including two back-to-back CAF Champions League titles.
The Nigerian also won the 2021 Club World Cup bronze medal, netting a penalty against Palmeiras in the third-placed playoff.
“After I left Al Ahly, I felt that the players were rushed into the starting lineup due to the run of games, not to mention they had a new coach who needed time to adapt,” Ajayi told ON Time Sports.
“When I came to Egypt, I did not know how big the Al Ahly – Zamalek game was, but in my first Cairo derby, I found out this match is the biggest in the Arab world.
“I spent five years at Al Ahly and those years are the most important in my life. I had the privilege to play with many legends at the club.
“It was a dream of mine to retire at the club, but at the same time, I already achieved everything that I possibly could over there and it was time for something new.”
Ajayi also talked about his relationship with former head coach Pitso Mosimane and revealed the South African was the catalyst for his exit.
“When Pitso Mosimane arrived, I was playing even before the Champions League final against Wydad Casablanca but I felt he wanted new players.
“I spoke to him later and told him I knew that I was leaving but he was open and honest with me.
“Luis Miquissone and Percy Tau are among the best signings for Al Ahly, but they just need time to show their potential,” he added.