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Meet 10 Most Neglected Black Stars Players

Meet 10 Most Neglected Black Stars Players 10 Most Neglected Black Stars Players

Since Avram Grant took charge of the Black Stars of Ghana as the head coach for a little past a year now, there has been relatively little addition to the already established and well known players of the current Black Stars squad.

Almost all of Grant’s current squad were predominant during the era of James Kwesi Appiah before the Israeli’s tutelage. Cooling most of his time off away from his country of employment, one expected coach Grant to have unearthed some good, quality yet unknown talents locally and abroad to augment the existing squad but little has been done on his part and his technical team to spot the right players for the nation both locally and offshore.

Inasmuch as he has made quite some good addition since his arrival in Ghana as the head coach of the Black Stars in Phil Ofosu Ayeh, Bernard Mensah and Samuel Tetteh just to mention but a few, equally, some players who ply their trade locally and abroad were given the back drop after displaying some scintillating and eye-catching performance for their club which warranted them a chance to don the Black Stars jersey in 2015.

A breakdown of facts of the following players on why they deserved at least a call up in the Black Stars in 2015 as a calendar.

Muntari Tagoe (Medeama SC): Muntari Tagoe has been one of the finest and most consistent goalkeepers in the local league over the past few years for Medeama SC. Featuring in the best three local players award in 2013/14 season, the goalkeeper has exhibited superb and stupendous display in post for the Yellow and Mauve’s throughout the period of 2015 when the local league started.

Keeping the post twenty four (24) times in the First Capital Plus Premier League and six (6) in the MTN FA, he employed his heroics for the Tarkwa based-club to lead them to the FA CUP triumph for the second time in three years in the club’s history in a back to back victory against Kumasi Asante Kotoko.

His thirty (30) game appearance conceding twenty-one (21) warranted him a place in the senior national team of Ghana which has Fatau Dauda who relatively saw less matches than Muntari Tagoe.

Nana Akwasi Asare (Genk, Belgium): A youth product of Kumasi Cornerstones and Gomoa Fetteh Feyenoord born on the 11th July, 1986, Nana Asare has matured to be a quality player at age 29 with Genk in the Belgian Jupiler League.

A versatile player who can play as left back and central midfield has become a well known player in Belgium since he signed for Genk in 2013. He made 30 appearances for his club in 2015, assisted three (3) goals in those matches which aided his team win the Belgian League in 2015.

His consistency in Europe added to his vast experience he has chalked over the years won him Ghanasoccernet.com’s most consistent player in Europe.

Nana Asare’s experience propelled the Belgian side to their first ever knockout stages in the UEFA Champions League. It is not surprising that the Belgian national team coach is considering naturalizing the Ghanaian to play for them.

Rashid Sumaila (Al Qadsia): Rashid Sumaila has become the fans favorite in the Kuwaiti League with his short stay in the Arab peninsula for his club Al Qadsia.

Moving from the South African PSL to Kuwait promised to be an arduous task but the 24-year-old defied all odds to establish himself in the Kuwaiti League winning himself a place in the league’s best XI in 2015.

Sumaila also assisted his Al Qadsia side to the semi finals of the Asian Champions League and are currently on top of the Kuwaiti Pro League after the first round of the 2015/16 season.

Losing his place in the Black Stars squad was a tap on the former Kotoko defender’s shoulders to make amends in stepping up his play and he proved it in 2015 for his Al Qadsia side in the Kuwaiti League and helped them reach the Quarter finals of the Asian Champions League.

The door seems closed on Rashid Sumaila under Israeli trainer Avram Grant but the tenacity and agility of the youngster replicates the glory days of former Black Stars captain John Mensah.

Even in the absence of Jonathan Mensah who was serving a FIFA ban and John Boye who was injured at a point, Grant did not see the need to invite the industrious athlete into his side.

Jerry Akaminko (EskiÅŸehirspor): In his service and dedication to his nation, Jerry Akaminko got injured in 2014 in a World Cup preparation match against The Netherlands which ruled him to the sidelines for more than a year. Highly favorited to be among the final twenty-three (23) man squad for Ghana, his injury on the 86th minute ended him a chance to show his exploits in the world cup in 2014.

After recovering from his injury woes, Jerry Akaminko has formed a resolute and an intrepid back line for EskiÅŸehirspor in 2015 scoring two (2) goals as a defender in the Turkish Super League.

As part of his experience in the Black Stars team over the years, coming back from a horrible injury to make more than ten (10) games for his club last year should have spared him a place back in the squad to enrich the quality of the team.

Enoch Adu Kofi (Malmo FF): Enoch Adu Kofi has been the most consistent Ghanaian player abroad for the past three/four seasons and should be an integral part of this current Black Stars squad.

Having had a call-up for the Black Stars’ preliminary squad for the 2015 AFCON in Equatorial Guinea in which he was later pruned out of the list, the 25-year-old has not had any fair share of call-ups in the national team especially in 2015.

Making over forty (40) appearance for Malmo FF and scoring two (2) in all competitions as a defensive midfielder, the former Nodgelland midfield kingpin had a better statistics in terms of regularity on the pitch than any Black Stars midfielder which should have earned him an automatic call-up into the Black Stars. He is among the few Ghanaian players to play in all the six (6) games in the group stages of the 2015 UEFA Champions League.

Adu Kofi is one of only four Ghanaian players who are currently playing at the top echelon of European football and has been consistent for the Swedish giants for the past 30 months. Perhaps Avram Grant is waiting for Adu Kofi to come back home and playe for either Kotoko or Hearts before handing him a call up.

Kwadwo Poku (New York City): Born on the 19th of February, 1992, Kojo Poku, from a humble beginning, has blossomed into a big name player in the Major League Soccer [MLS] for New York City. Oozing the akin repertoire as that of Yaya Toure, the lanky skillful attacking midfielder has shown promise in his young career in a team with experienced David Villa, Andrea Pirlo and Franck Lampard, scoring four (4) goals in twenty-eight (28) appearance for the New Yorkers.

His football ability has made light to several European clubs chasing for his signature. His nationality has been a subject of controversy as the head coach of the US national team, Jürgen Klinsmann has offered him an opportunity to wear the US jersey ahead of the red, gold and green of Ghana.

Having only eight minutes of time in Ghana’s 1-1 friendly against Canada last year, Kwadwo Poku has shown why he deserves to be part and parcel of the Black Stars team in 2016 and beyond.

Nasiru Mohammed (BK Hacken): The former national U-17 captain has been so much influential to his Swedish side for the past three seasons but is yet to get recognition from the handlers of the senior national team.

The former Asawase-based Rainbow FC player needed just few games to stamp his authority in the BK Hacken side since he moved to in Sweden.

In 2015 when he deserved to have had a call up in the Black Stars but was neglected, he made thirty (30) appearances for his side scoring four (4) and assisting nine times in the process.

Operating as a winger or as a midfielder, he could have given the Black Stars so many options in 2015 when the team lacked a powerful and an ambidextrous player.

Nasiru’s quality reminisces the hey days of Zenidine Zidane and his inclusion into the Black Stars will not only give Avram Grant options in midfield, he will also guarantee the side creativity.

Torric Jebrin (Ismaily SC): Being a pale shadow of himself in abroad after leaving Accra Hearts of Oak in Turkey for Bussaspor and a little stint with Trabsonspor, Torric Jebrin has been very explosive in the Egyptian league since he signed a three-year-deal with Ismaily SC from Bucaspor July last year.

He has, so far, provided the highest number of assists for Ismaily in the Egyptian Premier League putting them comfortably on the league log. With barely less than eight months with his club, the former Hearts of Oak man has become a transfer discussion in the Egyptian tabloids between his side and Zamalek.

Described as the ‘Darling Boy’ of former Egyptian striker Hossam Mido, Torric has sparked controversy in Africa’s most historic country after being linked to Zamalek, days after the departure of Mido’s resignation at Ismaily.

The Messi-like Torric Jebrin has always given assurance of providing creativity and tailor-measured passes to make goal scoring easy for Jordan and Gyan upfront.

2016 is a new year and Avram Grant obviously must prove his critics wrong by spreading his invitational tentacles to the former Hearts of Oak wonder-kid.

Ebenezer Ofori (AIK): No country will hesitate to invite a player who has emerged the best midfielder in the Swedish League to the national team except Ghana.

The former U20 talented player who signed for the Swedish giants as a left back improved his performance to emerge the best midfielder in the 2014/15 season.

Ebenezer Ofori, 21, has been excellent in his approach to have a call up in the Black Stars. The best season of his career was in 2015 when he was involved in twenty-nine (29) matches for his club sharing twenty-seven (27) in the league and two (2) in European competitions. Scoring six (6) goals and assisting four (4) as a midfielder was telling to have made a part of the Black Stars team last year.

Abu Mohammed (Stromsgodset): A player who has been on the sojourn in his football career at a younger age of 24 with clubs like Eintrancht Frankfurt in Germany, Lorient in France, Manchester City in England and now having a blistering and flamboyant career in the Norwegian League with Stromsgodset, Abu Mohammed made thirty-six (36) appearance for his side in 2015 scoring two (2) in all competition.

He was very active and efficient for his club in the Europa League competition in 2015 where he made six (6) appearances for Stromsgodset.

His dexterity in midfield would have done the Black Stars a whole lot of good during the calendar year.

Critical look and keen interest must be channeled to these above-mentioned players and other nationals who are excelling and doing well for their clubs locally and abroad.

It is about time the Black Stars is decorated with other “hidden” names in the game to make way for consistency and continuity when the likes of Asamoah Gyan and Kwadwo Asamoah are done with the nation.

Equal attention should be given to every player who qualifies to play for the Black Stars so as to increase the level of experience for players whenever they are called upon by the nation to serve at the international stage since the Black Stars still remains the flagship product of Ghana football and the acme every player can reach in the country.

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