Goal puts the spotlight on five Ghana internationals who ought to capitalise on the transfer opportunity to switch clubs to put themselves in better stead for Brazil 2014 call-up
By Joshua Ansah
The dawn of January 1, 2014 brought with it a new day, a new year, and the opening of the transfer window.
The year, quite incidentally, is one that would see the Fifa World Cup organised and hosted, and with Ghana having been handed such a tough group in the tournament's draw, most Ghanaians would hope the country's key players use the freshly opened window to prepare themselves adequately for the task that awaits in the summer.
Strikers Majeed Waris and Jordan Ayew have already switched clubs in search of better prospects. The fact that both deals are of a short-term sort that would last only till the season’s end seem to suggest that they were negotiated with a place in Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah’s final World Cup squad in mind.
Goal looks at five other Ghana internationals who ought to capitalise on the opportunity to make similar moves in order to put themselves in better stead for consideration.
FATAU DAUDA – Orlando Pirates
The shot-stopper took over as Ghana's safest pair of hands at the Africa Cup of Nations last year but a move to Orlando Pirates that followed has seen him while time away on the bench and is yet to make a single appearance for the South African side. His lack of action at club level appears to have affected his performances for the national team and the former Ashgold man is clearly in danger of losing his position as main man between the posts for the Black Stars. Dauda recently commented on his situation, alluding to the fact there are other custodians in the fold who could step up to replace him, but it would still be surprising if the 28-year-old would not look for a move that could bring him more time on the field and keep him in goal when the 2010 World Cup quarter-finalists face USA in the country's Group G opener.
ANTHONY ANNAN – Schalke 04
A key member of the Stars side that placed third at the 2008 Afcon, Annan is another who has lost his place in the national team in recent times due to difficulties at club level. The diminutive midfielder tried to revive his career with a loan move to Osasuna, but after an unsuccessful spell with the Spanish outfit, Annan, who has now returned to Schalke, will be hoping to find a solution which will put him back in the reckoning for a place in the presently congested Stars midfield.
DEREK BOATENG - Fulham
One of a few players who were present during both of Ghana’s previous World Cup campaigns, Derek Boateng’s summer move to Fulham looks like it could prevent him from appearing at a third-straight Mundial. Since joining the London club, the dreadlocked midifelder has played a meagre total of 235 minutes of competitive football in five months and thus seeks an immediate remedy to his travails while he still can to boost his chances of making it to Brazil.
MICHAEL ESSIEN - Chelsea
The 'Bison'- who proved crucial in helping Ghana qualify for a maiden World Cup outing in 2006 and featured heavily at the tournament itself - also risks missing out on the country's World Cup fortunes this time as in 2010. Essien's hopes of making the squad for the 2014 event seem to depend on whether he can play more often in the coming months, a probability which appears unlikely if he opts to remain with his beloved Chelsea. Rumours are that the midfielder is set to leave the Blues - with a destination being the only lingering uncertainty - and it apparently might not be long before we see Essien switch clubs in a bid to make it to this year's Mundial.
*SAMUEL INKOOM – Dnipro (Platanias)
Young right-back Samuel Inkoom’s career for club and country seem to have stalled after his move from Basel to Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. Inkoom has had long inactive spells in the last couple of years, making just four appearances for FC Bastia after joining them on loan in January 2013 and rarely featuring at all on his return to his Ukrainian employers. Inkoom would know that a continued period of dormancy will really weaken his chances of making it into the final World Cup squad.
*It comes as a good news that the defender signed a six-month loan deal with Greek side Platanias a few days ago.
What do you think, though?
Should these and other national team players move at all? Would you have them in the final squad for the tournament if they got more playing time at their respective clubs?
Do leave your comments below.