Goal.com Ghana's resident Asante Kotoko expert shares his thoughts on a dicey topic about the Black Stars that is making rounds in different quarters. Do you agree with him?
The Goal Lounge
|Who can be Asamoah Gyan’s heir apparent - Mahatma Otoo or Abdul Majeed Waris?|
JOEL HAMMOND| Goal.com Ghana writer
But the ‘Baby Jet’ has gradually seen his form on the downward trend after making a move from the more competitive English Premier League to the less fancied UAE Pro league, raising concerns over who would take the responsibility of leading the line upfront for the team in his absence.
Gyan’s Black Stars career began against Somalia on November 19, 2003; he came on for Isaac Boakye and duly delivered on his debut with a goal and has since been the go-to-guy for goals in the senior national team. “Asa” as he is affectionately called by his team-mates, shot to prominence after scoring three goals at the 2010 Fifa World Cup, nonetheless, though, Asa for the umpteenth time missed a crucial penalty against Zambia in the semi-finals of the Afcon 2012, which was one of the lowest points in his international career.
However, Gyan has managed to bring the ‘90s in vogue where we had well established strikers like Tony Yeboah, Prince Polley, Maxwell Konadu, et al. After a rather abysmal performance in the Afcon 2012, Gyan tendered in a temporary resignation letter to the Ghana FA. The said letter included amongst other things: his emotional state and why he wanted to take a break to rediscover himself and become a better player upon his return to the national team. He has since returned and assumed the reins as captain of the senior national team.
|Making a case for Mahatma Otoo
Mahatma Otoo, contrary to popular belief, is not making his first appearance in the senior national team; he featured for the Black Stars against Argentina in a 0-2 loss in Buenos Aires. Otoo burst onto the scene in 2009 when he featured for premier league side Sporting Mirren, in that year, the accolade of Premier League player of the year was bestowed upon Otoo. At age 17, Otoo’s finishing belied his age as he scored in double figures for Mirren.
He moved to giants Hearts of Oak where he became an instant hero in his first season, finishing that term with consecutive individual titles winning the Ghana premier league’s best player of the term. His fortunes surged and landed a deal with African giants Esperance Sportif de Tunis, but Otoo failed to replicate his magical form that made him a household name and thus had to return to his parent club Accra Hearts of Oak. He has since been the most consistent striker in the domestic top flight in the past two seasons and has been nicked named “Chief Executive” by the Phobia folks.
He is blessed with an array of talent which includes his dribbling and finishing strengths and has got a shot on him as well. His impressive talent have attracted many European clubs, with Sunderland being front runners to earn the services of the young striker. Otoo could be a long term replacement for Gyan who is gradually losing many admirers alike.
|Abdul Majeed Waris|
Born in September 1991, he started his playing career at the Right to Dream Academy. Waris then moved to England and joined Hartpury College where he went on to feature for Forest Green Rovers reserve side, but made his mark as a striker in Sweden playing for Allsvenskan side BK Hacken scoring 23 goals in 29 appearances, in the process he became the first player to score five goals in a top flight game in Europe in the 21st century against IFK Norrkoping.
Waris annexed the goal-king title in Sweden at the close of the season. His name had become synonymous with goals in the Swedish top flight league. Tony Yeboah was the first Ghanaian to have won a goal-king title whilst plying his trade in Europe such is Waris’ immense potential.
He moved from BK Hacken to Russian club Spartak Moscow. He needed no invitation as he scored a double on his debut albeit a friendly he used it as a platform to convince his new employers of his potential. The 21-year-old made his Ghana debut in a friendly game against Peru when he came on for Richard Mpong in the wee hours of the game and in effect had little time to make a mark. The young striker comes across as a shy person and makes his football do most of the talking, Waris lasted the entire duration of the Ghana – Sudan 2014 World Cup qualifier last Sunday and earned his debut international goal plus an assist.
He has worked ever so hard to merit a regular call-up to the senior national team, for a player who abounds in so much quality he would make a good replacement for Gyan if need be.
Which of the two players is Asamoah Gyan's heir apparent? Have your own say below.