Top seven Ghanaian U17 starlets abroad
By Akyereko Frimpong Manson
In our scouting report, Ghanasoccernet.com picks highly-rated Ghana U17 starlets who would hog the headlines abroad in the next few seasons ahead.
1. Justice Opoku – Inter Milan (U16)
You might want to think about the next Mario Balotelli when you watch him play.
Opoku, 15, is the most feared goal poacher in Italy at his age.
Last season, he beat Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to highest number of goals scored in a single season by bagging 73 goals.
His astonishing scoring form was highlighted when he won the golden shoe award in the Mediterranean Cup by scoring 11 goals in five games.
Last year, reports emerged about AC Milan trying to smuggle the Nkawkaw-born from the Istituto Milano to the San Siro.
He spoke of his huge admiration for Mario Balotelli and how he is dying to emulate him.
Italy must be harbouring plans of catching him young.
2. Elton-Ofoi Acolatse – Ajax Amsterdam (U17)
You can hardly count two or three graduates from the famous Ajax Amsterdam Academy who lack a spark of greatness in them.
That same academy that produced Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten, Frank Rijkaard, and Dennis Bergkamp is harnessing a Ghanaian talent – Elton-Ofoi Acolatse Armah.
The 17-year-old is not just feared for his speed and trickery on the wings but for his ability to think on the ball and make split-second decisive decisions.
Acolatse has signed a professional contract with the Dutch giants and would soon be hogging the headlines in the Eredivisie.
3. Andy Akoteng-Bonsrah – Borussia Mon’back (U15)
A sensational left winger, attacker and a striker combined.
Andy turns 15 in July but his extraordinary talent has caused many to tip him for greatness in Germany.
Mönchengladbach’s chief scout spotted him playing with friends at home and immediately introduced him to the academy and the kid has moved on progressing at such an amazing level.
Akoteng takes on defenders at will and he does so with immeasurable levels of a saddist’s intentions.
We could see a more productive and vibrant Quincy Owusu-Abeyie in him.
4. Francis Boateng – Inter Milan (U17)
Boateng plays with such command in central defence that sometimes he seduces Andrea Stramaccioni to hand him his Serie A debut despite being under 17 years.
He is ruthless on the job and entertains no nonsense – he has the power and energy to go about his duties with admirable niceties.
He has faced his age mates at Liverpool and the likes and has always given them a sense of how powerful he is growing to become.
5. Corey Addai – Arsenal (goalkeeper) (U16)
How many times do you hear of Ghanaian goalkeepers abroad?
Well in the next couple of years you might probably watch Addai doing the business for Arsenal in the Premier League.
His agility and quick alertness combined with splendid reflexes put the 15-year-old on a higher pedastal.
Arsenal U16 trainer Mike Barone sees a great prospect in him.
6. Razak Iddrisu – Wolfsburg (U17)
Though capped by Germany at youth level, Ghana can still make the 17-year-old Iddrisu one of their own.
Born in Tema, a suburb of Accra, is a great predator and has already advertised his worth with Wolfsburg’s second team and is the leading man for the German U17 side.
Ghana has a glimmer of hope as his father, a former Ghana U17 player, has assured the West Africans he would commit his international future to the Black Stars.
7. Justice Agyeman – Borussia Dortmund (U17)
A great central defender in the making.
Agyeman has a mind a greater than his age and marshals the back with such command that sometimes proves a bit incomprehensible.
While Dortmund polish his talent, Ghana will be hanging on to hand him a future invitation.