Goal presents a comprehensive – albeit not exhaustive – summary of Ghanaian footballers’ movement during the summer window
The summer transfer window has shut and was one of the most thrilling trade in football history, and Ghanaians – much like other soccer-loving nationals across the planet – haven’t been left without reason to monitor affairs on the market.
Indeed, many were the Ghanaian footballers who secured deals all over the place, especially in Europe, and Goal sieves off the most notable for mention here.
We begin in Italy where so much business took place, particularly involving young Ghanaians sent out on loan by some of the peninsula’s clubs. That proved true in the case of Inter Milan’s Joseph Alfred Duncan (to Sampdoria), as well as Isaac Cofie (Genoa to Chievo Verona). In similar vein, Fiorentina pair Amidu Salifu and Maxwell Boadu Acosty would spend 2014-15 with Serie B outfit Modena.
One Ghanaian youth who, during the summer, called time on Italian adventures was striker Kingsley Boateng, whose permanent move from AC Milan to Dutch side NAC Breda follows a year’s loan brought to an end three seasons spent learning the game’s ropes on the boot-shaped peninsula.
There was action aplenty in Spain as well, where goalkeeper Razak Brimah – called up for Ghana’s Afcon 2015 qualifiers due later this month – transferred from the reserve side of Cordoba CF to Segunda B outfit Mirandes. Defender Thomas Teye Partey, on the books of reigning La Liga champions Atletico Madrid, would also spend the freshly commenced season as a loanee with Almeria. Spain also provides us with perhaps the most chaotic transfer episode of any player in Europe this summer, involving former Ghana youth star Derek Boateng. The dreadlocked midfielder was purchased from relegated English side Fulham by Spanish side Rayo Vallecano in June, only to be released and re-sold to newly promoted Eibar barely months later. As Rayo manager Paco Jemez would later be quoted as saying, Boateng’s signing was “a mistake.”
Well, still on Iberian territory, we visit Portugal, whose elite division had one Ghanaian full-back – Daniel Opare, to FC Porto – join, while another – David Addy, from Victoria Guimaraes – departed. Incidentally, Addy’s new club, Waasland-Beveren, competes in the same championship (the Belgian Jupiler League) as do Standard Liege, Opare’s former employees.
Porto aside, another Portuguese club, Boavista, snapped up one-time Arsenal prodigy Quincy Owusu-Abeyie on a free transfer. The Dutch-born is one of two high-profile Ghana internationals who spent last season unemployed [and have now found clubs], the other being Dominic Adiyiah, who only just moved to Kazakhstan to play for unfancied Atyrau.
On another side of the globe, Russian football was rid of two bright, young Ghanaian talents, namely, Mubarak Wakaso and Abdul Majid Waris, both of whom represented Ghana sparingly at the 2014 Fifa World Cup. Wakaso is currently on loan with Scottish behemoths Celtic from Rubin Kazan, while Waris – himself lent by Spartak Moscow to France’s Valenciennes for the latter half of last season – sealed a transfer to Trabzonspor of Turkey on deadline day. While on his way out of Moscow, Waris might just spot Arsenal-bred Emmanuel Frimpong at the airport, as the defensive midfielder arrives to start life in the Russian Premier League with three-year-old FC Ufa after being released by Barnsley.
Another participant at Brazil 2014 now pursuing Turkish delights is centre-back John Boye, who presently plies his trade with Kayseri Erciyesspor, following the expiration of his contract with Stade Rennes at the end of 2013-14.
A trio of talented young Ghanaians also had their careers boosted with moves that could do much to accelerate their development into the world-class stars their vast potentials suggest they could be someday. First, there is Christian Atsu Twasam, whose third career loan stint sees him in the ranks of Everton, from where he could possibly make the step up to Chelsea, his parent club, if he does impress in the ongoing English Premier League campaign. Next is left-back Abdul Baba Rahman, the Dreams Academy graduate whose exploits in German football’s second-tier last season for Greuther Furth has earned him a quick return to the Bundesliga, this time with Augsburg. Rahman, also called up for Ghana’s September double-header against Uganda and Togo, has already sparked life with the Fuggerstädter with two fine assists in only his second official outing, against Borussia Dortmund.
And then there is Jordan Ayew – whose brother Andre failed to negotiate a late move to England, amid rife speculation that the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, and Hull City all had him on their last-minute shopping lists – who, from Olympique Marseille, now defends Les Phoceens’ Ligue 1 rival Lorient’s colours.
Finally, we get to our own continent, where a number of Ghanaians – John Paintsil (Santos FC to Maritzburg United), Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates to Chippa United, loan), and Edwin Gyimah (Supersport United to Mpumalanga Black Aces, loan) – moved clubs within the sphere of South African football.
Wrapping up our little tour of the world, we return home only to find that – in a hardly unusual yet very lamentable turn of events – the player crowned goalking and Most Valuable Player for the latest season of the Ghana Premier League, Bechem United’s lynchpin Augustine Okrah, has already left for greener pastures, pitching camp with Swedish side BK Hacken.
Note to reader: Unless otherwise indicated, all deals covered above involve transfer of full ownership rights from the selling club to the buyer.