By Umar-Farouk Atipaga
Consistently, the name Abdul Majeed Waris has made waves in the Ghanaian media but the reason for that is purely due to his feat at club level.
At the national team level, there is really nothing to say but you cannot fault the 21-year-old because in all the Ghana call-ups he has had, he has not had the chance to prove his worth.
The perfect time for Ghanaians to really know what he brings to the Black Stars’ table is the November 13 friendly match with Cape Verde in Lisbon, Portugal. Three strikers including Waris himself had been invited to play for Ghana against the Blue Sharks, but captain Asamoah Gyan has been excused due to the untimely death of his mother on Tuesday.
The other striker left is Richmond Boakye Yiadom, the on-loan Juventus striker at Italian Serie B side Sassuolo. Waris ended his season in Sweden as the top scorer with 23 goals in 29 matches. That is such an impressive statistics and what even makes it more appealing is the fact that he is the first Ghanaian to go beyond the 20-goal mark in Europe to win the goal king.
Earlier in the season, he chalked another feat as the first Ghanaian to score five goals in a single match outside the shores of Ghana. The Right to Dream Soccer Academy product has now earned a move to Russian side Spartak Moscow where he will be guaranteed of some European action. But the big deal is about what he can do in the national team as the Black Stars prepare to end the 31-year-old trophy drought at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa in January 2013.
Consistently, Ghanaians have been worried about the over-reliance on Gyan as the marksman and if Waris can translate his club form to country, it will certainly be good news. The question is can he pass the test or can he show glimpses of his performances at club level?
It is very imperative that coach Kwesi Appiah gives him the chance to play against Cape Verde so everybody sees whether he can truly lead the attack of the four-time African champions. It is obvious that his form in the just ended Allsvenskan of Sweden is enough to earn him a place in the team for the continental showpiece, but it is still important to know whether the attack of the Black Stars can be safe in his hands.