Ghana coach Kwasi Appiah has named a 23-man squad for the double-header in the 2021 AFCON qualifying campaign with South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe.
Seven of the 23 players invited are debutantes who are expected to lighten the team and possibly weave their way into the starting eleven of Coach Appiah.
The seven newbies include one home-based player – Shafiwu Mumuni of AshGold with the remaining six players being foreign-based.
Footballmadeinghana.com takes a detailed look at the new players invited.
Christopher Antwi-Adjei (SC Paderborn 07)
Many do not know him but for religious followers of the German Bundesliga and the Bundesliga II, Antwi Adjei needs no introduction. Born on 7th February 1994 in Hagen, Germany, little Christopher started his professional career with Sprockovel in the 2016/17 season before moving to SC Paderborn 07 where he has been since. He is a great speedster and a wonderful dribbler. He’s swift on the flanks, and quick on the ball.
He’s played all nine games for SC Paderborn 07 this season in the Bundesliga. He also has 2 DfB Pokal games with a goal this season. He played a key role in getting them promoted to the Bundesliga with 31 games and 10 goals in the Bundesliga 2 last season. His favourite positions are LW or LM. If Kwasi Appiah will use him well, he will be beneficial to the Black Stars.
Shafiwu Mumuni (AshGold)
The AshGold striker, certainly the most in-form striker on the local scene as of now, is one of seven debutants who have been given their maiden invitation.
The striker has become one of the red hot marksmen in West Africa due to his current form, scoring 17 goals in three competitions – NC Special Competition, CAF Confederation Cup and WAFU Cup 2019. He scored 9 goals in the NC Special Competition, including a hat trick against Aduana Stars.
He also scored 4 goals in 4 games for AshGold in the CAF Confederation Cup including a hat trick in the space of 9 minute against Akonangui FC of Equatorial Guinea.
He also became the first player to score a hat-trick at the 2019 WAFU Tournament in Ghana’s 3-1 semi-final win over Ivory Coast.
Shafiwu’s qualities as a striker come with a little versatility. He is comfortable leading the attack like Didier Drogba and can also play as a second striker behind the lead attacker like Claudio Pizaro. One of his strongest attributes is his aerial ball ability and has also got a powerful right-footed drive.
Kudus Mohammed (Nordsjaelland FK)
Born on August 2, 2000 in Accra, Nima to be precise, the left footed playmaker has grown into a super star. Kudus who started his playing career with a colts club in Nima was scouted by Right To Dream Academy following the promising features of stardom spotted in him. His sturdy rise to his current form dates back from 2017 when he was a member of the Ghana side that reached the semi-finals of the U17 World Cup in India in 2017.
Kudus graduated into the Ghana U20 side that failed to secure World Cup qualification at the 2019 edition in Niger. Despite Ghana’s poor showing at the tournament, Kudus’ outstanding performance was widely applauded. He is currently one of the most influential players for Nordsjaelland FK in the Danish Super Liga where he has scored 4 goals in 10 games. He can be likened to Real Madrid star Eden Hazard considering his dazzling moves and powerful drives.
He’s a perfect definition of a playmaker and has the ability of determining the outcome of games. One of his major attributes is his capability of dictating the pace of games with his apt intelligence. His dribbling skills makes him a dangerous attacker as his eye for goals is undoubtedly perfect.
Torric Jibril (TP Mazembe)
In terms of play, Torric Jibril is similar to Kudus Mohammed as they possess the same qualities, and wonderfully both are left footed players. Born on 14th January 1991, the 28 year old Torric started his football career at Tafo in Kumasi where he was born. He was a member of the Al Azhariya Islamic School football team that dazzled the region with sexy football during his days. His amazing display of football artistry forced a move to Anokye Stars, a colts club in Suame where his road to stardom started.
He was quickly lured by Accra Hearts of Oak during a training tour in Kumasi where he was spotted by the late Alhaji Hearts. His brilliant display and swerves forced many to gallop to the Accra Sports Stadium to watch Hearts’ games. “I used to rush to the stadium to watch Hearts of Oak matches because of Torric Jibril because I saw the features of Mohammed Polo and Abedi Pele in him,” Fiifi Banson, popular sports journalist had this to say about Torric.
His sexy career was given a premature ejaculation following his transfer from Hearts of Oak to Turkey to join Bucaspor. Following his departure from Turkey where he had stints with Bucaspor and Trabzonspor, Torric joined Ismaily of Egypt where he had an amazing outing with the side. At Ismaily, he was the heart of the team under Coach Hassan Mido.
He was transferred to Al Masry where his stay was characterized by inconsistencies forcing him to request for a loan move to Saudi Arabia side Al Makawloon before his move to DR Congo side TP Mazembe. Torric’s age may be 28 but his brilliance and intelligence on and off the ball can’t be in doubt.
Razak Abalora (Azam FC)
In 2017, Abalora was certainly the second best goalkeeper in Ghana, some inches behind Richard Ofori and at a point, some even felt Razak should be rated ahead of Ofori. Born on 4th September 1998, Razak is arguably the best goalkeeper in the Tanzanian league following his amazing outing. He’s the number one choice for Azam FC and has replicated his great reflexes at WAFA.
Razak started his career and was spotted by WAFA where he started his journey to stardom. His days with WAFA in Ghana are enough description of Abalora. He has since grown in confidence and his command between the sticks is admirable. Abalora will surely not be walking straight into the post considering the experience and confidence of Ofori, but his inclusion in the team is long overdue.
Salisu Mohammed (Real Valadollid)
Salisu is one of the discoveries in Kwasi Appiah’s list after he shot onto the scene with his aggression and tactfulness in defence for Real Valadollid in the Spanish La Liga. Born on 17th April 1999 in Sabon Zongo, a suburb of Kumasi, the 191cm defender started schooling at Central Mosque Islamic Basic School, where his football career started.
He was scouted by African Talent Football Academy, a Second Division side in the Eastern Region from Kumasi. The club secured him a straight contract from Valladolid in Spain where he has virtually stolen the heart of all. He’s strong with a wonderful height, making his aerial ability apt. He’s a ball-playing defender and has wonderful pass accuracy. He has eye for goals too and look dangerous during set pieces. He has a goal in 11 games for Real Valadollid in the La Liga.
Baba Iddrisu (Real Mallorca)
Born in Accra on January 22, 1996, Baba moved to Spain at an early age and joined CD Leganes’ youth setup in January 2014, alongside Kasim Adam of Fortuna Dusselfdorf and Thomas Partey of Atletico Madrid. They all joined the youth side of Real Mallorca a few months after joining Leganes.
Baba made his senior debut for the side on 29 August 2015, coming on as a second-half substitute in a 7–1 Tercera División home routing of Penya Ciutadella.
Baba scored his first senior goal on 8 May 2016, netting the opener in a 2–1 home win against CF Platges de Calvià. On 23 June, after gaining promotion he was bought outright by the Bermellones. On 25 August 2017, Baba was loaned to Barakaldo CF in Segunda División B, for one year.
Upon returning, he was promoted to the main squad in Segunda División and made his professional debut on 19 August 2018 in a 1–0 home win against CA Osasuna. On 3 July 2019, after contributing with 28 matches (play-offs included) as his side gained promotion to La Liga, Baba renewed his contract until 2022. His main attributes are in his strength as a box-to-box midfielder. He is a typical replica of Michael Essien. He has powerful drives and is very combative. His technical ability makes him versatile for tactical switches.
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