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Sports Features of Saturday, 3 February 2018

Source: Kwese.espn.com

Ghana stars make quiet progress during transfer window

As many Ghanaians fixated on global transfer dramas involving Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Olivier Giroud and others, some of the biggest names in Ghana football were negotiating their own moves with playing time, career resurrection and professional progress in mind.

Majeed Waris is back in a top-flight league after his move to FC Porto from FC Lorient, while Abdul Baba Rahman will be hoping to put his injury nightmare behind him at Schalke 04 after leaving Chelsea.

The likes of David Accam and Aziz Tetteh also switched clubs, but the biggest move involved Andre Ayew, who returns to Swansea City after a season and a half to forget at West Ham United.

Injuries and poor form in London meant that he never truly replicated the form he enjoyed at Swansea, and he now reunites with his brother Jordan for the first time at club level since 2013.

The Swans will be desperate that the brothers can fire them out of the relegation zone.

"With the way Jordan is playing, it will be interesting to see how his bond with his brother can develop in the remaining 13 league games," Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins told the club's website.

As well as being keen to help Swansea stay up - again - Andre will be desperate to prove West Ham wrong to discard him.

His time with the Hammers was marred by injury and, latterly, a lack of trust from David Moyes, although nine goals in 43 Premier League outings isn't a dreadful return for a player who made 18 of those appearances from the bench.

Swansea will be hoping that his strong personality can be a valuable asset in their battle against the drop.

Over at Schalke, Baba has different, more modest, objectives.

There was a great sense of optimism when the left-back arrived at Chelsea in 2015, with many hoping that he could be Ghana's next global superstar.

He offered pace down the left and a fine crossing ability, but he was in and out of the side, and too often flattered to deceive during Jose Mourinho's troubled campaign in charge of the champions.

The wideman returned on loan to the Bundesliga - where he'd made his name with Augsburg - last season, this time with Schalke, but an injury suffered during the African Cup of Nations last January ruled him out for the entirety of 2017.

It's been a long and painful road to recovery, but Baba now has the opportunity to make up for lost time.

Should Baba return to the form that made him one of the continent's hottest properties, he will give Black Stars coach Kwesi Appiah a welcome problem at left-back, where Lumor Agbenyenu has become the first choice.

The latter was also on the move on deadline day, joining Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon from Portimonense on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

Agbenyenu's rapid progress will please Appiah, who will be desperate for the 21-year-old to successfully negotiate the step up to a bigger club - unlike Baba - and avoid being another Ghanaian talent who falls by the wayside after a high-profile move.