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Afena-Gyan: Roma boss Mourinho touts Ghanaian teenager’s ‘special’ qualities

06:26 GMT 04/11/2021
Felix Ohene Afena-Gyan AS Roma
I Giallorossi manager shares his thoughts on their new-kid-on-the-block who will be missing in action on Thursday

AS Roma coach Jose Mourinho believes Ghanaian wonderkid Felix Ohene Afena-Gyan brings a new bite to his attack.

The teenager has been the subject of attention since making his senior debut in the Italian Serie last week, going on to feature in his second game in as many days in a defeat to AC Milan on Sunday.

I Giallorossi will, however, have to do without the 18-year-old in Thursday’s Europa Conference League clash with Bodo/Glimt as he has not been registered for the competition.

“With Felix, tomorrow he is a player who is not registered for the Conference League. But he is a player with qualities that we don’t really have in the squad. He’s a player who looks for opportunities that we don’t often try to exploit,” Mourinho said at the pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

“We have a lot of players who want the ball at the feet; we don’t have many who look for the spaces to run into. I like him because of how he tries to run into space and how he works out on the pitch. How he presses. He’s aggressive in the spaces.

“He is a long, long way from being the finished product - a long way from being a complete player and a long way from being the perfect player to start for a team like Roma. But he is a player that deserves to be worked with and deserves a chance to play.

“It’s good for him that he is training with us, just as it is good for other players.”

Afena-Gyan joined Roma in January after impressing on trial, having caught the attention of scouts while playing school football back home in Ghana.

He follows in the footsteps of ex-midfielder Ahmed Barruso in the list of Ghanaians to play for the Italian outfit.

''First of all, I will like to say thank you to Roma and everyone for the opportunity they gave me. I am very happy,'' Afena-Gyan said after his debut.

''The coach believed in me that's why he sent me to the field and due to that I didn't want to prove him wrong or prove myself wrong. So I need to work hard and have a strong mentality and give my best on the field to support the team.''

The youngster is expected to return to Roma action when they play Venezia in league football on the weekend.