Sports News of Thu, 13 Sep 201823
We'll continue to pursue Luckassen, Williams - Black Stars coach
Deputy coach of the Black Stars Ibrahim Tanko has reiterated that they are still pursuing their quest to clinch the allegiance of some foreign-born Ghanaian players.
Head trainer of the Black Stars, Kwesi Appiah has on countless times expressed his desire to follow the likes of Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, and Senegal, who continue to augment their squads with such players.
His ambition, however, has yielded little so far, with biggest target Timothy Fosu-Mensah of Manchester United snubbing overtures from the country of his parents and, instead, pledged his services to the Netherlands.
According to coach Tanko, they will continue with their bid to secure their targets to augment the Black Stars.
“Since Kwesi came, we have been trying,” Tanko told Goal.
“He’s met [German-born Huddersfield Town striker] Collin Quaner. It’s not only him. We have about six to seven that we have written to Fifa about for clearance.
“It’s unfortunate that this thing [corruption scandal] happened to the FA because we wrote to them [Fifa]. We were waiting for the response and then things started to mess up at the FA, so there has been no peace of mind to follow-up on that.
“Once the Normalization Committee takes over and things become normal again, we will continue.”
With Fosu-Mensah now cap-tied by the Netherlands, Ghana’s biggest target remains Athletic Bilbao attacker Inaki Williams, who has already rejected overtures from the GFA.
Born to a Ghanaian father and a Liberian mother in Spain, the 24-year-old remains eligible to play for any of the three countries at senior level although he has played for the Europeans at youth stage.
“In the case of Inaki Williams, we tried,” Tanko said.
“We spoke to him but I think he’s not ready yet. Maybe he’s looking to have a chance to play for Spain.
“We’ll still try to see if he will maybe change his mind. But at the end of the day, if the player doesn’t want to come, you can’t force him.”
Another player of interest is Dutch youth defender Derrick Luckassen, who recently joined German side Hertha Berlin from PSV Eindhoven.
Born to Ghanaian parents in Amsterdam, the centre-back has played for his country of birth but says he could consider playing for the Black Stars should he be called.
“For Luckassen, since he’s in Germany now, I can easily see him,” Tanko, who spent most of his playing career in Germany, said.
“I’m planning to go to Germany for two weeks, so I can visit all the players, talk to them, see what they are up to and see if they’re ready to play for us.
“But of course, if a player is ready to play for us, he has to be better than those whom we already have.”
Sassuolo’s Italian-born full-back Claud Adjapong, German youth centre-half Gideon Jung and Chelsea prodigy Callum Hudson-Odoi are some other targets of the Black Stars.