By Edmund Okai Gyimah
A major bane of many a Ghanaian national team over the years has been its strikers' frequent failure to find the back of the net, largely due to a lamentable lack of ideas in the final third.
As the 2014 Fifa World Cup approaches, Ghana will need its best men upfront to score as many goals as are required to ensure the country goes far enough at the tournament. To that end, Goal presents six of Ghana’s best finishers outside the country this term.
ASAMOAH GYAN - Al Ain (18 goals in 19 games)
The Black Stars skipper has continued from where he left off last season by banging in the goals which have seen his side, Al Ain, among the top clubs on the UAE Pro League log once more.
Despite the fact that Gyan's club has been quite ordinary this season, the former Sunderland man has been in fine scoring form, netting 18 times in 19 league games, only three of which have come from the spot.
Gyan is firmly in contention for the championship’s Golden Boot - a prize he has claimed in the last two seasons - as he currently leads the topscorers' charts.
KWAME AMPONSAH KARIKARI – Balikesirspor (10 goals in 19 games)
Karikari, currently loaned out by Swedish side AIK Stockholm, has been outstanding for Balikesirspor in their quest for promotion to the Turkish top flight. The nimble-footed poacher has shown his impressive striking instincts with 10 goals moving the club to third in the standings.
Despite his sharpness when it comes to finishing, Karikari is yet to be capped by Ghana at senior level, although he is one of the most consistent Ghanaian goals corers in Europe for three seasons running.
JOHN ANTWI - Ismaily (7 goals in 10 games)
After Gyan, the budding John Antwi has the highest goal ratio among Ghanaian strikers playing abroad. The 22-year-old who is eagerly awaiting a chance to prove himself for the Black Stars has arguably been Egyptian club Ismaily’s best player all season and is largely the reason why the team has soared to a respective second place on the country's league table. The former Dreams FC player is quite ambidextrous and aerially brilliant as well. Antwi can attack from both flanks and could also play as a typical centre-forward.
KWESI APPIAH - Notts County (10 goals in 18 games)
The English-born Ghanaian who is owned by Premiership side Crystal Palace enjoyed a successful loan spell with lower division side Cambridge United where he racked 10 strikes in
14 appearances, thus helping the club to the top of the Conference league before his parent club moved him on another short-term deal to Notts County in the winter of 2014. Four games for his new club might have yielded no goals, but for a striker of Appiah's quality, the month left till the expiration of his temporary stay with The Magpies could be used to rectify that small hitch.
EMMANUEL BANAHENE - Sanliurfaspor (7 goals in 14 games)
Another excelling Ghanaian goalscorer in Turkey, Banahene has been in splendid form for Sanliurfaspor and has managed a goal every other game thus far. A flamboyant forward who boasts great speed and a sharp eye for goal, Banahene has caught the attention of Turkey's bigger sides.
He is capable of playing as a main striker and also as a schemer while also very good on the wings.
ABDUL MAJEED WARIS - Spartak Moscow (1 goal in 11 matches) Valenciennes (4 goals in 7 games)
The Ghana regular had a terrible first season in Russia scoring just once in 11 outings, before deciding to move on loan to French Ligue 1 side Valenciennes last month. Almost immediately, Waris has burst back into life, firing on all cylinders for the relegation-threatened club.
The former Hacken striker has since struck four times in seven games along with three assists in aiding Valenciennes' quest for survival. The Right to Dream Academy product has arguably been the best winter signing in the French Ligue 1 for 2014.