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Africa Cup of Nations

Ayew makes bold Sulemana prediction

2:00 AM MYT 14/01/2022
Kamaldeen Sulemana Ghana
The Black Stars wonderkid started against Morocco in Group C's opener, and could be in line to feature against vs Gabon

Kamaldeen Sulemana is primed to make a big impact for Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations according to Black Stars skipper Andre Ayew.

Speaking to GOAL, the former West Ham United forward has revealed how impressed he’s been with working alongside the wonderkid during the West African giants’ camp so far.

“He’s a great talent, great quality,” Ayew told GOAL, “and I think he’s going to help us a lot in the tournament.”

Sulemana was celebrated by GOAL in our 2021 NXGN list of the world’s top teenage footballers during his time with FC Nordsjaelland, and subsequently moved to Stade Rennais in July 2021 for a reported €20 million fee.

Earlier in his career, the wideman reportedly interested both Liverpool and Manchester United, with Ajax and Bayer Leverkusen both tipped as potential destinations.

He was already a Ghana international by the time he made his Rennes debut in August 2021, having featured for the Black Stars in October 2020’s miserable friendly defeat by Mali during the troubled tenure of CK Akonnor.

He started for the Black Stars in their Nations Cup opener against Morocco, lining up on the left side of Milovan Rajevac’s 4-2-3-1 formation during an underwhelming defeat for the Black Stars.

Sofiane Boufal, Sulemana’s opposite number, was the match-winner with an 83rd-minute strike, while the young left sider had an ineffectual outing for a lacklustre Ghana side.

Sulemana completed one successful dribble during the contest, but failed to create a single goalscoring opportunity or register an attempt on goal.

Indeed, he was guilty of losing the ball due to poor control on five occasions, a game high equalled only by Boufal.

Only after Morocco had taken the lead did Rajevac seek to freshen up his attack, replacing Joseph Paintsil, Jordan Ayew and Sulemana with the trio of Fatawu Issahaku, Benjamin Tetteh and Daniel-Kofi Kyereh.

It was too little too late for the Black Stars, who remained unable to find any kind of attacking rhythm as the contest ran away from them.

Next up, Ghana meet Gabon in their second group game, seeking to pick up their first points of the campaign, while the Panthers can secure their place in the Round of 16 having defeated Comoros 1-0 in their opener.