thumbnail Hello, Ghana’s Fiifi Anaman digs into the past of five players whose individual performances helped their clubs to excel in the domestic top flight and deserve transfer abroad

By Fiifi Anaman

Over the past few seasons, the Ghana Premier League has been embellished with a fine crop of technically gifted players.

The domestic top flight has witnessed expert goal poachers to midfielders with flair as well as highly agile defenders with an extra bit of an attacking sense. These players have together illuminated the league with their fine talent and made the league a delight to watch. Ghana takes a look at five of them who have aroused public interest in the league, and have made it clear through their displays that they possess what it takes to make it beyond the shores of Ghana.

5. Mahatma Osumanu Otoo - HEARTS OF OAK

Hearts of Oak did not have a good campaign last season. They finished third and lost the race to champions and arch-rivals Asante Kotoko. Otoo has been their inspiration and scoring for them in times of crisis. He bagged 10 goals last term and finished 4th on the top scorer’s chart. He has been a consistent performer over the last few years, winning the MVP for the league in the 2009-10 season as well as a top scorer for Ghana's Olympic team at the All Africa Games in Maputo.

He is definitely going to be the man that coach CK Akunnor will build his team around in preparation for the new season. Otoo's goal scoring abilities and his knack for rising up to the task in big games are surely lethal attributes that can help him adapt anywhere.

4. Awal Mohammed - ASANTE KOTOKO

Asante Kotoko's title winning efforts were not only from an attacking angle, but also from a defensive perspective. Maxwell Konadu's talented lot only conceded 18 goals in 30 games, only second to Aduana Stars (17) in the fewest goals conceded count. One man who stood head and shoulders above all other defenders in the league, and who made that impressive statistic possible, was Mohamed.

The 24-year-old product of the famous Feyenoord Academy at Gomoa Feteh was consistently brilliant with his performances at center back last season, forming a solid partnership with his skipper Ohene Brenya. As an agile, athletic no-nonsense defender, Mohammed was not only disciplined in defending, but he was decent in instigating attacks from the back, making the sweeper's role part of his métier. His brilliance earned him the Best Defender of the League award, an honour well deserved without the slightest doubt.

3. Gladson Awako - BEREKUM CHELSEA

Emmanuel Clottey's emergence as a prolific marksman has been propelled by many elements including Gladson Awako being a major factor. He is the creative genius in the Berekum Chelsea team, the skillful dribbler who gets past defenders with ease, displacing them and releasing acres of space for Clottey to do what he does best. Awako is a versatile attacking player, the type who can play as a second striker, an attacking midfielder, and a left/right winger. But his silky skills are best shown when he plays as a trequartista, further forward behind Clottey.

The 21-year-old was a key member of the Ghana Under-20 squad that won both the African and the World Youth Championships in 2009 - platforms that brought his exceptional abilities to the public eye. Awako is a unique player with the Aguero-Tevez physique, which makes him a priceless asset. He is also a capable goal-getter. Awako truly deserves a chance in Europe.

2. Daniel Nii Adjei - ASANTE KOTOKO

He has often been described as the Iniesta of Asante Kotoko. The 23-year-old was Ghana's MVP last season, beating off stiff competition from the league's top goal scorer, Emmanuel Baffour. Adjei is a stylish midfielder, capable of spraying defense splitting passes all over. The witty play-maker was at the heart of everything good during Kotoko's title winning campaign. He was the conductor, who dictated the pace, direction and timing of his team's attacks.

It still remains a wonder why this diminutive genius has not received a call to the Black Stars yet, as surely, the national team could make use of his graceful flair and vision. Nii Adjei has all that it takes to thrive in a fluid tactical set-up in Europe. Also, he is definitely got goals in him, not to talk of his eye for an assist.
1. Emmanuel Clottey - BEREKUM CHELSEA

He is a household name across Africa. The energetic 24-year-old is the man of the moment, an exciting striker loved by almost every football fan in Ghana. He has been on cloud nine over the last few months - not only scoring for fun, but also dazzling fans with his breath taking attacking skill.

With just eight matches into Berekum Chelsea's current African Champions League campaign, Clottey has already bagged a jaw dropping 11 goals, including two hat-tricks and a double in both group matches against former champions Zamalek and TP Mazembe. Not only is Clottey a natural goal poacher, he is also a complete attacker.