Football: Former Arsenal winger Jermaine Pennant set for trial with Tampines Rovers

Former Arsenal winger Jermaine Pennant (above) is set to undergo trial for the Tampines Rovers next week.
Former Arsenal winger Jermaine Pennant (above) is set to undergo trial for the Tampines Rovers next week. PHOTO: EPA

SINGAPORE - Former Arsenal and Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant, known for both his scintillating wing play and off-the-field antics, will undergo a trial with S-League football club Tampines Rovers next week.

The news was confirmed by Tampines Rovers chairman Krishna Ramachandra on Monday.

"We are in discussions, and the trial should take place next week," said Ramachandra.

Pennant last played for Wigan Athletic in English football's second tier. He had joined the Latics in February on a short-term contract. The 32-year-old previously played for Indian Super League side FC Pune City.

Pennant made headlines in 1999 when he joined Arsenal as a 15-year-old in a deal worth £2 million (S$4.19 million), a record fee for a trainee. In 2003, he scored a hat-trick against Southampton on his full league debut.

Unfortunately for the tricky and quick winger, it was mostly downhill from there, as he failed to establish himself as a first-team regular with the Gunners. Spells at Watford, Leeds United, Birmingham City and Liverpool followed.

Troubles off the pitch hardly helped. In 2005, he was jailed three months for drink-driving while banned.

If the former England Under-21 player does join Tampines, it will strengthen the Stags, who finished runners-up last season behind champions Brunei DPMM. The five-time S-League champions have already signed nine players from the disbanded LionsXII side, including Singapore goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud.