Gary Al-Smith looks back at the just-ended first round of the First Capital Plus Premier League, assessing the claim the Nat Asamoah is ready for the Black Stars
Nathaniel Asamoah believes his top scorer status in the ongoing top flight would soon catch the eye of the Black Stars.
Leading the charts with 12 goals from 15 games in the first round of the First Capital Plus Premier League, the Medeama forward feels an opportunity with the national team would have been merited.
(UPDATE: Joy Sports understands that his 12th goal for Medeama on Wednesday was actually credited to another player by the match commissioner, but since no official announcement has been made by the PLB or the GFA, we’ll stick with Asamoah as the scorer.)
“I am very sure that if the handlers of the Black Stars give me an opportunity, I can help,” he asserts.
The player’s brace in Medeama’s 3-1 victory over B.A United at the T&A Park in Tarkwa shot the club to fourth on the league table.
Nathaniel, who has scored five goals in his three games, is aware of the situation which the Black Stars is in at the moment.
The usually prolific Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan, who has scored ‘just’ 13 goals in the UAE top flight this season, has been struggling with injuries since his heroics at the recent Nations Cup.
Majeed Waris, previously key for the national side’s striking options, missed the Afcon altogether due to a crock sustained just after he was called in the 26 man squad for Equatorial Guinea late in December.
And apart from Jordan Ayew’s 11 league goals which make him an automatic starter for Lorient (and Ghana) in what has been a good season in France, the Stars have precious few options.
And this may be a problem as the June qualifiers for the 2017 African Cup loom.
“Life is about opportunities and someone has to believe in you to give you the opportunity. I have been called up to the national team in the past but I never got to play. But now I feel I am ready,” the former Kotoko striker told Happy FM.
Avram Grant may also feel the need to have Nathaniel as a backup given Kwesi Appiah – who got rave Afcon 2015 reviews after the Israeli gambled on him – has also not had playing time for his new club, Reading.
All things considered, cynics are quick to point out the many names who have flattered in the local league only to flop badly when given national callups.
Again, it is a fact that 12 goals in Ghana cannot hold a candle to, say, a similar scoring rate in a Grade B European league. But it is equally true that Ghana doesn’t even have great scorers in Grade B Euro leagues.
So maybe, it’s time to watch the Medeama man more carefully? Or should we go deeper into his form?
The Medeama man has scored four braces in the eight games he has scored in this season’s league. Here is the breakdown.
Match day 4: Medeama 2-0 AshGold – Brace
Match day 6: Medeama 1-0 Chelsea – One goal
Match day 8: Bechem United 2-1 Medeama – One goal
Match day 9: Medeama 1-1 Liberty – One goal
Match day 11: Medeama 3-0 Edubiase – Brace
Match day 13: Medeama 2-0 Aduana – Brace
Match day 14: Hasaacas 2-2 Medeama – One goal
Match day 15: Medeama 3-1 Aduana – Brace
Not the first time
Asamoah, who was voted Player of the Month in March, has a record that shows that though he may not be material to be first choice for Grant, his seeming consistency in the local league is hard to ignore.
His best season was in the 2010/11 campaign when he scored 14 goals to get the top scorer award, having played for Wa All Stars (scored six) and Kotoko (scored eight) in separate stints.
But to be fair to Avram, the coach has previously stated that he would want to see consistency of local league players in the CHAN team as well before giving them the jump to the Black Stars.
If that’s the case, then Nathaniel is on his way.
Maxwell Konadu has already handed the dreadlocked striker a call up to the CHAN team who are set for an invitational COSAFA Cup in South Africa later this month.
Should he keep at it, a senior national team shirt could be his by the last quarter of the year.
Jordan Ayew – 11 goals in 25 games
Asamoah Gyan – 13 goals in 11 games
Nathaniel Asamoah – 12 goals in 15 games
It’s your call, Avram.
Follow Gary on Twitter: @garyalsmith
Story by Ghana/Joy Sports/Gary Al-Smith
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