It has become obvious that the Black Stars right back puzzle is yet to be solved after John Paintsil and Harrison Afful’s perfect shuffling in that role and that was evident in the second Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier. That position has seen many players pass through including the likes of Daniel Opare, Samuel Inkoom and a host of other players. Yet coach Charles Akonnor seems to be struggling to get a perfect fix for the right back position.
The head coach of the Black Stars Charles Akonnor handed a starting role to 2020 Ghana Premier League winner and Hearts of Oak captain Fatawu Mohammed and his performance left much to be desired and even admitting to being scared of the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg. Fatawu Mohammed admitted that he was scared of the size of the pitch and if fans attended the game, he would have been under massive pressure. A whole captain and for that matter a domestic Premier league winner must not make such a comment. Coupled with the fact that he will be part of Hearts of Oak squad for their CAF Champions means he has already failed the club in advance.
Akonnor has his trusted right back in Reading FC’s Andy Yiadom who is certainly not a bad player but football is full of uncertainties and like it happened, players from England could not travel to South Africa due to COVID-19 restrictions as South Africa are on the red list of UK.
There could be injury situations as well and so it is imperative to have a perfect replacement or an equally solid option in case of these contingencies. One player who has consistently displayed quality over the years at club level in Najeeb Yakubu. The 21-year-old has been key for Ukraine Premier Liga club, Vorskla Poltava over the past seasons.
He played both legs with an assist in Vorskla’s UEFA Conference League elimination by KuPS. He made 19 league appearances with an assist last season and has so far made six appearances in this term. This shows the fact that he is a consistent performer week in, week out in European top flight league.
Yakubu tasted UEFA EUROPA League football playing against a side like Arsenal in the 2018/19 season. Najeeb Yakubu has played for the junior national team, the U-17 and the U-20 the Black Satellites and these experiences cannot be underestimated. Andy Yiadom has displayed glimpses of quality but there is the need to make room for quality and solid options and Najeeb Yakubu’s consistency certainly makes him a perfect fix.
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