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Switzerland Check: Lawrence Ati-Zigi misses last-minute equaliser, Afriyie fails to perform again

Although the Swiss league is definitely one of the smaller leagues in Europe, it is also recognised as a stepping stone to the really big leagues. Several players have laid the foundations for a great career in Europe's best leagues. But what about the Ghanaians who want to use the league as a springboard right now? A weekly insight.

Lawrence Ati-Zigi misses the last minute equalizer.

This season has not been Lawrence Ati-Zigi's best – at least compared to last year, when he won the award for the best goalkeeper in the Swiss Football League. Shortly before the AFCON, he had to give up his position in goal for the Black Stars to Richard Ofori, and his statistics in the Swiss league are currently not quite as good as they were last season.

Since his return from the AFCON, Ati-Zigi and his team have not been performing as well as they would have liked, losing all of their last four games. This includes Sunday's match against FC Basel, which they lost 1:0. Ati-Zigi hadn't been very busy, but he is not to blame for the conceded goal. One scene seconds before the end was very interesting. The seventeen-time Ghanaian international had rushed forward for a corner kick and the ball happened to fall in front of his feet. Ati-Zigi took a chance and shot at goal. However, because he hit the ball with the outside of his foot, it sailed over the goal and St. Gallen lost. The next difficult game for St. Gallen is at the end of the season when they face FC Winterthur, who are currently in good form.

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The 1.65m tall striker moved from Hearts of Oak to FC Zurich in January last year. In 27 games for the club, Afriyie has managed just two goals and three assists. Both goals were scored last August. Afriyie has been repeatedly criticized by fans and the media for his performances.

Nevertheless, the 22-year-old was in the starting eleven last weekend when FC Zurich faced GC Zurich in the derby. Afriyie created one chance, but otherwise, he didn't really make his mark. He also had the fewest touches on the ball and only completed 50% of his passes. The likelihood of his time in Zurich coming to an end in July is increasing if he doesn't start scoring goals soon.

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The centre midfielder moved from Berekum Chelsea to FC Basel in January 2022. The 20-year-old, who is regarded as a great talent, has not yet been able to establish himself there and was loaned to Stade Lausanne-Ouchy, another Super League club, in September 2023. He played nine games for the newly promoted club before suffering a serious shoulder injury.

Essiam is currently undergoing recovery work following surgery, but is unlikely to feature again this season.

Like Essiam, the centre-back also moved from Berekum Chelsea to Basel. However, with one exception, he had previously played for Berekum's second team. Adjetey is facing exactly the same scenario in Basel, having played just two games for the first team, but 25 games for the second team in the third-highest Swiss league. At the moment, however, it looks as if the 20-year-old will be carefully introduced to the professional team. Last weekend, however, Adjetey wasn’t nominated for the match day squad of the first team.

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In August 2018, Nuhu made the leap from the West African Football Academy to Europe. At FC St. Gallen, where he is teammates with Ati-Zigi, he did not yet make his breakthrough. In July 2022, he was loaned to Norwegian club KuPS for six months. His time in eastern Switzerland was also marked by numerous injuries, and in his five years at FC St. Gallen, he made just 39 appearances for the first team. So far this season, he has only made two appearances for the U21 team. He has yet to play for the first team. Even though many players were injured in the first team, Nuhu did not make the squad. FC St. Gallen are said to be open to selling Nuhu to another club. The transfer window in Switzerland is still open until 15 February.

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The 23 year old left Dreams FC for Israel in 2019 as an uprising star. Just one year after his arrival in the Middle East, he then moved to FC Lucerne in Switzerland's top division. He was never able to establish himself there and was loaned back to Israel for six months in 2022. Last July, the attacking midfielder was loaned out to FC Baden in the second-highest Swiss league, but unfortunately injured his ACL after just four minutes. Since then he has been out with a torn cruciate ligament and is working on his return.

The centre midfielder was loaned to the second-highest Swiss league last August from FC Ashdod in Israel. He has been a regular at FC Aarau since the beginning and has impressed with his performances. This was also the case last weekend in the match against Stade Nyonnais. The 20-year-old controlled the midfield and also impressively showed his strengths in attack multiple times. He also provided an assist in his team's 5:2 victory. Pappoe is due to return to Israel at the end of the season, but it is quite possible that he will head straight to a higher league from there.

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The 1.92m tall centre-back moved to Israel from Pudu Mighty Jet in 2019. He played for a total of three different clubs before becoming unemployed last August. Since Tuesday, Acquah is also under contract with FC Aarau in the second-highest Swiss league. He was not in the squad this weekend, so it may well take a few more days for Acquah to reach match fitness. We'll keep you updated!

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