According to the official homepage of struggling Asante Kotoko FC, the club have signed eight new players during the last couple of days. In this post I will give a short presentation of the new players. Asante Kotoko FC have been criticized for bringing experienced players to the club that are “over the top” and have careers that seem to be heading in the wrong directions. Unfortunately, I get the same feeling regarding some of the new signings. Several of the players have background from the Feyenoord Academy and ASEC Mimosas from Ivory Coast.
Michael Akuffo is a midfielder that played for Feyenoord Academy in 2006-2007 before joining ASEC Mimosas in the Ivory Coast, where he failed to establish himself. In March 2009, he was a trialist at Norwegian side Bodø/Glimt, where he was described as a technical player with a style of play similar to Anthony Annan of Rosenborg BK and the Black Stars. Later in 2009, he joined Finnish side FC PoPa, a second level club. He was member of Ghana U-23 during 2006 and 2007 and is apparently born 18.12.1985. He is sometimes referred to as Michael Akuffu but his full name is Michael Akuffo Mensah. Akuffo has obviously been at a decent level some seasons ago but I must admit that I don’t expect him to be the solution to the obvious midfield problems of Kotoko.
Nathaniel Asamoah is a striker, signed from Wa All Stars FC. He was presented in my post from 22.10.2010. At the time of writing, Asamoah has scored five goals during the 14 first rounds of the 2010-2011 GLO Premier League. Asamoah is born 22.02.1990 and fans of Asante Kotoko FC will be happy to see a young, up and coming player joining the club. During the last years we have seen several top strikers from smaller clubs in Ghana, struggling to deal with the pressure at top club Asante Kotoko FC, for instance Kabiru Imoro, who will reportedly sign for Real Tamale United FC in January, Edward Affum and Samad Oppong. I personally think Asamoah will succeed as he has been a consistent performer in the GLO Premier League since the season 2007-2008. Asamoah was widely regarded as the top striker of Wa All Stars FC and I expect him to be sorely missed by their fans. Asamoah is described as an excellent counter-attack player and a speedy attacker / winger.
Mohammed Awal is a central defender, born 01.05.1988. Awal joined ASEC Mimosas in the Ivory Coast during the second half of the 2010-season, signing from Feyenoord Academy where he had been a consistent performer in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010, both seasons at second level in the Ghana football pyramid. Awal played four matches for ASEC in 2010 and unfortunately failed to establish himself at the Ivorian top club. Awal is a powerful defender, apparently 185 centimeters. He was part of Ghana U-20 during 2007 and was member of Ghana B earlier this year, as well as in 2008. He is sometimes referred to as Awal Issah. I personally think Awal is a good signing and although he failed at ASEC, competition was tough. I have seen Kotoko several times this season and they could really use a strong central defender. Awal could be the solution.
Yaw Frimpong is a right-back, born 04.12.1986. He is a rather small player, apparently 167 centimeters and 61 kilos. Frimpong played for ASEC Mimosas in the Ivory Coast during 2009 and 2010. Frimpong played 15 of 26 matches in the 2010 league and scored one goal. ASEC Mimosas is one of the top clubs in West-Africa and although Frimpong was not regarded as a key player at the club, I personally think he is a great signing for Kotoko. Frimpong belonged to Feyenoord Academy in 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 and was member of Ghana U-20 during 2007 and Ghana U-23 during 2006.
Nafiu is a striker that played for Feyenoord Academy during 2006-2007, before joining ASEC Mimosas in the Ivory Coast. Nafiu had a great 2007-season in the Ivory Coast and was ASEC’s top goalscorer with nine league goals. In July 2007, Nafiu signed for Al-Dhafra in the United Arab Emirates. He scored seven goals in the 2007-2008 UAE League Division 1. After the season, he joined Al-Sharjah, also from the United Arab Emirates. I cannot find that the scored a single league goal for Al-Sharjah during 2008-2009 and his stay in the Gulf was not a success. As far as I know, Nafiu re-joined Feyenoord Academy after returning to Ghana and his agents were apparently working to get Nafiu to Egyptian football during early 2010. He was member of Ghana U-23 during 2006 and during 2007, several experts meant he was ready for the Black Stars. According to my sources, he is born 12.06.1986. Nafiu was a brilliant striker in 2007 and 2008 and if he is able to find back to this form, he could very well score several goals for Kotoko. However, he has not been playing at high level for quite some time and I don’t expect him to perform straight away, which could be a problem for the impatient Kotoko-supporters.
MOHAMMED YAHAYA SABATO
Sabato is a versatile defender, signed from Wa All Stars FC. He has been described as one of the star players of Wa All Stars FC for several seasons. According to my statistics, he joined Wa All Stars FC from Real Tamale United FC. He has been a member of Ghana B several times during the last year.
Tachie-Mensah is a versatile defensive midfielder, born 28.03.1985. He played for Hearts of Oak SC during 2006-2007, 2007-2008 and 2008-2009. He was primarily a squad player at Hearts of Oak SC and played for Hasaacas FC during the second part of the 2008-2009 season. In 2009-2010 he joined Israeli top-level side Hapoel Beer Sheva and was immediately loaned out to second division side Maccabi Beer Sheva. It is fair to say that the stay in Israel was rather unsuccessful. Tachie-Mensah was part of Ghana U-23 during 2006 and 2007. I expect Tachie-Mensah to be a squad-player at Kotoko.
Ahmed Touré is an Ivorian striker who is making a comeback for Asante Kotoko FC, the club which he played for in 2006-2007. During 2007-2008, he played some matches for Kessben FC before joining Belgian top club Sporting Lokeren. Touré is born 17.07.1987 and is apparently 176 centimeters and 78 kilos. He played 5 matches for Lokeren in 2008-2009, scoring no goals. In June 2009, Touré was suspended by FIFA as he had apparently signed for two different clubs when he joined Lokeren. The suspension apparently lasted for four months. I personally cannot see that Touré will become the striker Kotoko desperately need.