Very few Ghanaian soccer fans know who Raphael Dwamena is but the hardcore who have followed his goal scoring exploits this season have asked one question; Why is he not with the Black Stars?
Very few Ghanaian soccer fans know who this 21 year old is but the hardcore who have followed his goal scoring exploits this season have asked one question;
Why is he not with the Black Stars?
It is a good question to ask considering the current state of the striking department of the national football team.
The most reliable source of goals, Asamoah Gyan has been bedevilled by injuries and is not scoring as often as he enters the twilight of his glittering international career. The next best option, Andre Ayew suffered an injury at the start of the season and is yet to find the back of the net this season.
Jordan Ayew is seen as the heir apparent to the striking mantle but seems more inclined to a playmaker’s role rather than an outright goal poacher and has not scored for the Back Stars in a while.
Three years ago, Abdul Majeed Waris looked primed for the role but has since petered off. He recently ended a nine month goal drought but his confidence is obviously shot.
This is why Dwamena’s rise is a bout of good fortune for Avram Grant ahead of the AFCON. There are reports the Ghana coach finally made his way to the Reichofstadion to observe the strapping youngster as he scored a brace on Saturday.
There is no doubt that Dwamena should make any kind of squad that Grant will conjure for the AFCON in Gabon next year.
For one he brings a physical presence upfront that makes him a natural for the rough and tumble of the African game, a factor that Jordan and Waris especially have struggled to overcome. Dwamena also has pace to burn and the most important ingredient of all; the confidence to finish as his 20 goals in 23 matches this season will attest to.
Questions abound about the standard of the league he has so thoroughly dominated but that is a point that sadly underpins the current state of the Black Stars. There is a genuine lack of world class talent.
The upside for Dwamena is his relative youth and the near certainty that he will ply his trade in a higher division next season with several Bundesliga sides as well as his mother club Red Bull Salzburg paying attention.
It will be suicidal for Grant to ignore his rich vein of form and potential upside ahead of Gabon 2017 with his regular excuse of stability and team building. His current crop of players need a kick up their backsides and Dwamena will be a good place to start.