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Afriyie Acquah

Afriyie Acquah560.jpeg
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Accra, Ghana

Afriyie Acquah is a Ghanaian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Turkish club Yeni Malatyaspor and the Ghana national team.

Early life

He speaks Italian, having learnt from his private tutor since he moved to Italy in 2010 and has a brother. Acquah said he had chosen shirt 94 in dedication of his mother, who was involved a car accident and survived that year.

Club career

Born in Accra, Greater Accra, Ghana, Acquah began his career in Glentoran Football Academy in Sunyani, Ghana, which established by Christopher Forsythe an Irish National from Sunyani. During his Glentoran's career, Acquah was awarded as "Best Ghanaian midfielder's Under-14".

He later transferred to Bechem United as the Northern Irish club unable to sign him, due to work permit issues, despite travelling with Christopher Forsythe to Belfast to train with the first team. In April 2009, he played for Bechem United against Italian club Empoli.

On 1 February 2010, Palermo signed Acquah from D.C. United of Ghana for free, but €500,000 agent fee went to SCMG Sport Consulting & Management GmbH. Palermo was fined by FIGC as it violated the third-party ownership rule in April 2012. FIGC found that Acquah had signed a contract with the agent in June 2009 as he was unable to join any club aboard until he turned 18.

After choosing number 94 shirt, Acquah made his Palermo debut, coming on as a substitute for Giulio Migliaccio in the 32nd minutes, in 4-2 loss against Fiorentina on 13 February 2011. After making four appearance by the start of April, Acquah signed a five-year contract, keeping him until 2016.

On 16 July 2012, Palermo announced to have loaned Acquah to Serie A rivals Parma for €100,000; the agreement also includes an option for Parma to acquire half of the player's transfer rights by the end of the season.

In January 2013 moved to German Bundesliga club Hoffenheim for €2.5 million fee on a four-year deal but he was not given any opportunity to play a single match until the end of the 2012–13 season.

In July 2013, he returned to Parma on a season-long loan deal and won his place back, finishing 27 league appearances in the 2013–14 season. During the season, Acquah scored his first professional goal of his career, in a 4-2 loss against Roma on 2 April 2014. Subsequently, the loan was extended for another year.

In February 2015, his loan spell at Parma was terminated early and he moved to fellow Serie A side Sampdoria, again on loan. He made his Sampdoria debut, playing 90 minutes, in a 2–1 loss against Chievo.

On 19 June 2015, he was signed by Torino on a four-year contract.

On 17 August 2018, Acquah signed with Serie A team Empoli.

International career

On 26 February 2012, Acquah was called up to the Ghana squad to face Chile. Acquah made his senior Ghana debut against Chile on 29 February 2012 at the PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania, USA. On 13 October 2012, in Civo Stadium, Lilongwe he scored a goal for Ghana against Malawi.

In May 2014, Acquah was named in a provisional 26-man squad in the FIFA World Cup by Ghana manager James Kwesi Appiah. On 2 June 2014, Acquah was selected in Ghana's squad for the 2014 tournament. Acquah made his World Cup debut, coming on as a substitute for Mohammed Rabiu in the 76th minutes, in a 2–1 loss against Portugal.

Style of play

A strong, talented and tenacious player, Acquah usually plays as a defensive midfielder in front of the defence, due to his pace, physicality, stamina and abilities as a ball-winner.

Although he is primarily known for his defensive coverage, he is a versatile player, who can play anywhere in midfield; he has also been used in more advanced roles, or as a central midfielder, where he is capable of helping his team both offensively and defensively due to his work-rate, composure, temperament, consistency, and ability to make attacking runs into the opposition's penalty area.

Despite his lack of particularly notable technical skills, he has also been used as a deep-lying playmaker on occasion, due to his solid first touch, ability to set the tempo of his team's play and subsequently start attacking plays with long balls after winning back possession.

Although naturally right-footed, he is capable of striking or passing the ball well with either foot. His precocious performances as youngster and energetic playing style in midfield have drawn comparisons with compatriot Michael Essien.


Africa Cup of Nations runner-up: 2015