AFCON 2019: Profile of Black Stars midfielder Mubarak Wakaso
Mubarak Wakaso is one of Ghana’s most experienced players heading into the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
The Deportivo Alaves midfielder made his debut for the Black Stars in 2012 and has since featured in four AFCON tournaments.
Wakaso’s career at club level has often lacked continuity and consistency, but he is currently enjoying his football in La Liga.
As we build up to the AFCON in Egypt, Pulse Sports zooms into the career path of the 28-year-old midfield general.
Mubarak Wakaso was born in the Northern Region of Ghana and began his professional career at Ghana Premier League side Ashanti Gold SC.
The midfielder played just a single season in the local league before he was signed by Spanish lower division side Elche.
Between 2008 and 2012, Wakaso played in the second tier of Spanish football, making 58 appearances and scoring once.
The Ghanaian has had a journeyman career, which has seen him play for over 10 clubs spread across Scotland, Greece, Russia and Spain.
However, it was at Villarreal that Wakaso began to sparkle. Having joined the Yellow Submarines in the summer of 2011, the midfielder put in a series of impressive performances to attract more suitors.
Wakaso spent a single season with Villarreal before joining fellow La Liga side Espanyol in the 2012/13 season. But just like at his previous club, the midfielder stayed for just a year before again moving on.
He eventually moved to Russia to play for Rubin Kazan, in what was a big-money move for the former Ashanti Gold man. The Ghana international has also been on the books of Celtic, Las Palmas, Panathinaikos and Granada, before joining current club Alaves in 2017.
Wakaso made 28 appearances in the just ended season, and is expected to be a driving force in Ghana’s midfield when the AFCON begins.
Despite starting his career as a winger, Wakaso is normally used as a defensive midfielder by Black Stars coach Kwesi Appiah. Indeed, the midfielder has a knack for goals and remains one of Ghana’s top-scorers in the history of the AFCON.
This is a man who averages a goal every five games for Ghana, having netted 12 times in 51 international games.
Wakaso has scored six goals at four AFCON tournaments, and should once again play a big part in Ghana’s bid to be crowned continental champions.