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Sports News of Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Source: goal.com

Akonnor wants to follow Nigeria model in wooing Nketiah, Lamptey

Ghana coach CK Akonnor has revealed admiration for Nigeria's national team player pool enhancement model of actively pursuing footballers of Nigerian roots in the diaspora.

In recent years, the Super Eagles have boosted their squad with the likes of Alex Iwobi, Ola Aina, Semi Ajayi, Maduka Okoye, William Troost-Ekong and Leon Balogun, who all qualified to play for various European nations either through birth place or parentage.

Kingsley Ehizibue, Joe Aribo and Cyriel Dessers are among their latest acquisitions while the likes of Queens Park Rangers playmaker Eberechi Eze, Liverpool attacker Ovie Ejaria and Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka are reportedly being courted.


"The most important thing is those who were born in Europe. Some of them are eager to play for the Black Stars," Akonnor told Starr FM.

“That is what we want to do. Look at Nigeria, I think they have done that in a very nice way.

“They have brought a lot of guys who were born in Europe and the Nigerian team is now transformed so we are trying to do the same with the national team.”

In March, Akonnor, after a European tour, revealed a roster of seven Ghanaian disaporans who have either agreed to switch international allegiance to Ghana or are considering a possible career with the Black Stars.

France-born Strasbourg centre-back Alexander Djiku, Anderlecht's former Netherlands youth defender Derrick Luckassen, France-born Gent midfielder Elisha Owusu and Enock Kwateng of French side Bordeaux, according to Akonnor, have decided to turn up for the Black Stars.

The coach also revealed he was in discussion with Belgium and Anderlecht duo Francis Amuzu and Geremy Doku, and Ajax and Netherlands youth striker Brian Brobbey over a switch of international allegiance.

“With regards to European-born players, it’s necessary for me to let you know the names [of the players we are working on],” Akonnor said at a press conference.

“Those I spoke to want to play [for Ghana] but they are also not familiar with our lifestyle here. They don’t know what is going on, some probably just come here [briefly] and go back.

“They don’t know anything about us and I think it is important for us to encourage them to come here and see what is going on here. They are willing to come but they don’t know what it is [like here].”

“Talking of quality players, I think I made mention of six or five players which I believe are quality [players]. They’ll enhance the way we play, the way we go forward. These names are with the FA and the FA has already started working on it.

“We cannot get them now but once we get them, they’ll improve our team. Once we have quality, they will improve our chance of winning Afcon.

“Djiku and Owusu are currently eligible to play. Management is working hard to get them on board.”


“Hopefully we’ll be able to get them [seven players] on board.”

Most recently, Ghana have been linked to Brighton and Hove Albion fullback Tariq Lamptey and Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah, both England-born. Earlier, Akonnor revealed he is currently in talks with the latter's parents in a bid to woo the forward over to the Black Stars.

It will not be Ghana's first time securing players in the diaspora as the likes of Kevin-Prince Boateng, Quincy Owusu-Abeyie, Emmanuel Frimpong and Adam Larsen Kwarasey have all played for the Black Stars in recent times.

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