By El Akyereko Frimpong
Follow Akyereko on Twitter: @AkyerekOfficial
Even before the Ghana Football Association President responded to questions from Ghanaian journalists about possible Inaki Williams approach, the Athletic Bilbao attacking midfielder looked heading away.
The 20-year-old who was born to a Ghana father and Liberian mother in Spain, has suggested he felt more Spanish than either Liberian or Ghanaian and seems to have opened the door for a Spanish call-up.
“My parents came here over two decades ago and I can identify with the stories because they did so much for me. I was born here, I’ve been here for 20 years and although you never forget your roots, I feel Basque”.
It is certainly a great idea to pursue a Spanish vision and down into the history books to become the first Black African to play for the European giants. But the plain fact is Inaki could walk into an unsustainable Spanish career and jeopardy.
In Spain’s recent history, only Marco Senna – Brazilian born, was able to wow Spanish football best bits collectors with his exceptional talent and imposed himself on their side for a graceful and flourishing era.
Though Inaki has years and prospects ahead of him, his talent cannot easily earn him attention and reward with a Spanish call-up. There are abundance of Spanish young talents of his kind. The chaps learning their trade at Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona provide them with an even bigger and brighter future beyond what seems to be Inaki’s superficial talent.
Mario Balotelli made history by becoming the first Black African to play for the Italian national team, opening the gates for Nigerian Angelo Ogbonna to follow suit.
He could also join David Odonkor – the lightening-pace ex-German winger, in the same ditch and indecision might make him an Ibrahim Salou.
Playing 7 out of possible 26 La Liga appearances is a testament of how long the journey is for him to go in terms of development. His recent show against Real Madrid at the San Mamés Barria gives hope. But as a matter of importance Inaki must redefine his signature and style of play, take it to the field of play and force it to shine.
He will be a good addition for the current Ghana team for the future but Inaki can’t be Asamoah Gyan and has not got the calmness of Kwesi Appiah or the finishing instincts of Abdul Majeed Waris. Getting carried away for being pursued by the Ghana Football Association could be a disruptive.
There are a couple of talents out there by Inaki’s standards and might not have had his opportunity to play in the La Liga.
Though it could be too early to call for a decision but Inaki should decide. He must either rapid his growth and prove a true lethal and venomous attacking force if he truly feels Basque and wants to be hammer a place in the Spanish team and hold it down.
Avram Grant has publicly stated that his doors are opened for prospective players but as a nation, we should not chase after Inaki. He must decide to play for Ghana and work for his place. He is not Elvis Manu!
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