Asante Kotoko players who could lose their starting position as the club enter in Caf Champions League

Asante Kotoko’s Caf Champions League football suffer a blow after 1-3 defeat in Ghana Premier League to Legon Cities on Sunday. However, they comfortably lead the table with 52 points 8 more above second place side Bechem United.

Kotoko are already in hunt for strengthening their squad with the Caf Champions League a major priority for the Ghanaian giants next season.

The likes of Medeama SC shot-stopper Boris Jr. Mandjui, 12 goals GPL forward Yaw Annor and WAFA captain Konadu Yiadom are reportedly on boss Prosper Narteh Ogum’s list of wanted players.

Together with them, names of ASFA Yennenga keeper Rabin Sanon, Coton Sport defender Ngomo Takougoum, Eding Sport forwards Herve Elame and Alphose Assiga have been penciled down.

When these players along with those unrevealed new faces join the Porcupine Warriors ahead of the 2022-2023 Caf Champions League campaign, it’s inevitable some current crop of regular stars would see their positions burst up to be compete for and even stand high chances of losing them.

Augustine Agyapong– The right-back position is one area Asante Kotoko are looking forward to strengthen for the Caf Champions League. Kotoko have been linked with a move for unnamed Ivorian International right-back. If the new comer arrives at Kumasi, Augustine Agyapong, who currently is the preferred first choice candidate under Narteh Ogum, will see his starting position in Caf Champions League matches limited.

In recent games of the Ghana Premier League, Agyapong has lost his position to Christopher Nettey though the former has been at Ghana national U20 camp. Agyapong and Nettey are among best right full backs in the Ghanaian top flight but there may be questions about their experience in African club football. Agyapong has not tested the Caf competitions  unlike Christopher Nettey who participated in last season’s Caf Champions League where his side Kotoko were crushed out by ES Setif on 2-1 aggregate.

Kotoko’s search for an experienced right-back on the continent will undoubtedly hunt down Augustine Agyapong starting chances in African matches and the Ghanaian International will provide a back-up for who that expected signing will be.

Yussif Mubarik- Having signed from Ash Gold at the beginning of this season, the center-back has walked straight in Kotoko’s lineup. Though there have been moments of lapses in Mubarik’s displays, the Ghanaian International has been the best pair in central defense along with captain Abdul Ganiyu. With Ganiyu appearing as untouchable, Maxwell Agyemang, Andrew Appau and Sheriff Mohammed have featured in pairing option in the absence of Mubarik.

With exception of Mubarik, any optional pair to Ganiyu has failed to live up to the billing though Appau has been quite sensational in his call into action. Maxwell Agyemang’s performances also make case only for the feature- at least three more years to reach height level. Mo Sheriff despite signing as a central defender has proven his best suitability in deep-lying role but has also sometimes managed to fill in the central defense gap in the Ghana Premier League.

With these gleaning glimpses of great potentials for the future, Asante Kotoko is the best defensive set-up in the local scene conceding the least 13 Ghana Premier League goals until Sunday’s defeat to Legon Cities. While this should be a good judgement for the current defense line ahead of Africa, the types of goals conceded especially from the central mistakes highlights a big best pair problem.

But reports suggest the search for a touch tackling, with good anticipation, aerial winner, speed and strong with experience in the Caf Champions League or Confederation Cup has began. Some names have already emerged whiles others remain unrevealed. Many sources in Ghana have claimed that for the central defense, a Cameroonian or Burkinabe is the preferred nationality. The incoming will see Mubarik- who lags behind in terms of speed, tackling and aerial dwell dropped to the bench but he has superb anticipation on his side.

Samuel Boateng- The forward has recently been deployed at the right side of attack with timely switch to the opposite. Boateng was signed as a center forward but Ogum’s inability to find a wide man when Georges Mfegue starts at the other wide position has earned Boateng operating from the other side of the wide area. Mfegue has regularly operated from the left wide area; meaning Boateng has played from the right side since wingers Stephen Amankona and Dickson Afoakwa have struggled to shine.

Samuel Boateng has impressed in that area scoring against Hearts of Oak in the Presidential Cup final and against Bibiani Gold Stars in 5-0 thrashing of the newly promoted side in the Ghana Premier League. The forward has shown the scoring aspect but the defensive, take-on and creating the channel aspects are missing.

The Ghana Premier League leaders are in hunt for wingers who have together all these qualities and Boateng would see his position lost when Kotoko bring in a new wide man. The Ghanaian giants will reportedly sign a quality winger and Ghana Premier League star Yaw Annor, who has netted 12 GPL goals, has been linked.

Read: Ash Gold winger Yaw Annor eyeing move to Asante Kotoko after making close revelation

Boateng will then return to fight against the likes of Solomon Sarfo Taylor, Evans Adomako and Franck Mbella Etouga for a place in the center forward position. The starting role up front will be very difficult to grab after first choice attacker Mbella enjoying a form of his life. The Cameroonian International has struck 17 times in the Ghanaian top flight, and Boateng will come in from the bench when a new winger is finally signed.



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