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Lamptey: Chelsea Academy graduate and Brighton defender who snubbed England for Ghana

12:33 GMT+3 22/09/2022
 Tariq Lamptey
GOAL digs into the journey of the 21-year-old who is set to make his debut for the Black Stars on Friday

Tariq Lamptey is set to make his senior international debut when Ghana play Brazil in an international friendly at Oceane Stadium in Le Havre, France.

Both nations will be using the game to shape up ahead of the 2022 World Cup to be played in Qatar from November 20 to December 18.

Ghana are among the five Africa nations in the prestigious competition alongside Morocco, Tunisia, Ghana and Cameroon.

Who is Tariq Lamptey?

The youngster was born in Hillington, England on September 30, 2000, to Ghanaian parents. His father Ahmed Lamptey named him Tariq meaning 'Morning Star' in Arabic. The skillful wing-back is second-born to a family of three, all brothers.

Ghana legend Michael Essien was Lamptey's role model and at the age of eight, he joined the Chelsea Academy to make his dream of becoming a professional footballer a reality.

In the 2016/17 campaign, he helped the U18s win the Premier League and went on to win several individual awards as a teenager.

When did Lamptey make his Chelsea senior debut?

After his exploits in the youth team, the Ghanaian was promoted to the senior team by the then Blues coach Frank Lampard in 2019. His debut came on December 29 of the same year when he replaced Fikayo Tomori in the 2-1 Premier League win against Arsenal.

He made two more senior team appearances for the Londoners - against Nottingham Forest and Hull City - both in the FA Cup, before leaving the club for his current team Brighton & Hove Albion.

When did Lamptey join Ghana?

Despite his undoubted talent, the skillful defender could not break into the England national senior team despite being a regular for the U18s and later on the U21s.

The Ghanaian FA contacted the player in July 2020 urging him to consider representing the Black Stars in the senior team category. However, he was undecided on the move and was even part of the England U21 team that played in the 2023 European U21 Championship qualifiers.

Eventually, the defender was convinced to switch his allegiance to represent Ghana internationally in July 2022.

"I am happy that everything is completed with Fifa and I am able to play for Ghana. I thank God for giving me this opportunity, I would like to say a big thank you to everyone involved in making this happen," Lamptey said via Twitter on September 7.

"I am really excited to start this journey and looking forward to representing Ghana. I can’t wait to play in front of you amazing fans. Thank you for the warm welcome let’s go!"

What is the immediate assignment for Lamptey?

After playing against the Samba Boys on Friday, September 23, Lamptey is expected to feature again for the Black Stars against Nicaragua four days later. There is another friendly scheduled for November 11 with Switzerland.

The biggest assignment for Lamptey will be to help Ghana perform well in the World Cup. The team has been placed in Group H alongside Portugal, Uruguay, and North Korea.