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African All Stars

Wakaso Mubarak: What does the future hold?

02:04 BST 10/07/2017
Mubarak Wakaso
The Ghana international has returned to Panathinaikos after a loan spell from Granada, but where to now?


Wakaso Mubarak has struggled for stability throughout his career.

After originally moving to Spain and Elche from Ashanti Gold in 2008, he’s gone on to play for seven different clubs in nine years.

His nomadic pathway has taken him to five different countries, and the midfielder’s rarely stuck around anywhere for too long.

For the Black Stars, he was given his chance in the starting XI by Avram Grant and proved to be a key man under the Israeli coach. However, after being overlooked by new boss Kwesi Appiah, the 26-year-old has a point to prove once again.

The story of last season

Wakaso’s season was split between Greece, Gabon and Spain, with the versatile midfielder playing the first half of the campaign with Panathinaikos and moving to Granada on loan in February, midway through the Black Stars’ Nations Cup campaign.

His contributions for the Greek side in the Europa League last term were overshadowed by a red card received against Ajax, which subsequently led to a three-match ban.

Ill-discipline was a key theme of his season, as the former Villarreal man also received eight yellow cards for Pana across 15 outings in the league and in Europe.

The yellow cards came thick and fast for Granada—he received eight in the space of 10 matches—two of which led to a dismissal against Atletico Madrid.

His unreliability meant that his contribution was limited as the Nasrids were relegated in bottom spot in La Liga, although he did demonstrate his class on occasion, notably in a goalscoring display as Alaves were defeated 2-1.

What could happen this window?

Despite his limitations, Wakaso’s dynamism, class from deadball situations and tenacity seem to have earned him several admirers…at least if the rumour mills are anything to go by.

He’s been heavily linked with a move to the Championship over the last few months, with both Reading and Aston Villa understood to be keen on his services.

In quotes relayed by Graphic Sports, the midfielder revealed that he was confident of a move away from Pana, while the Ghanaian media has also reported that he’s keen to terminate his contract with the Greek giants.


Other names to have been associated with the former Rubin Kazan man in recent months include Deportivo Alaves and Besiktas, while a photo that emerged of Wakaso wearing a West Ham United kit had the predicted effect of fuelling rumours of a switch to the London Stadium.

Finally, as if he didn’t have enough options already, the combative Ghanaian has also been linked with a move to Swansea City.

What to expect next season

Wakaso demonstrated with Grant that, in the hands of a coach who knows how to use him, he can be a valuable asset to a side.

The midfielder is no stranger to transfers—he’s made seven moves since 2011—so it looks likely that he’ll leave Pana, although his destination is anyone’s guess.

Another move to Spain, where Wakaso is a known quality and has a reputation, looks likely even considering last season’s disciplinary concerns.

Elsewhere, Swansea City, West Ham United and Aston Villa have had mixed fortunes with signing Ghanaian players in recent seasons—notably with the Ayew brothers—although the player’s tenacity and aggression may appeal to British suitors.

However, if Wakaso is determined to make the most of his talent, and enjoy success during these peak years of his career, he’d be wise to focus on finding a destination where he could settle and grow, rather than move on again after six months.