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Saturday, 04 April 2020 16:42

BUDU’s CORNER: Picking A GPL Team Of XI Players Who Are Not Getting The Love They So Deserve Featured

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The Ghanaian Premier League has borne witness to a plethora of stars who have lit up stadiums across the country since the days of yore. Some have walked away with a haul of medals and awards, whilst others may not have been as successful, yet their individual ability is what set them apart from the rest.
The suspended 2019/2020 league season is no different. But for every superstar and club in the league, there are always players who fail to hog the headlines despite being an invaluable member of their side.
All in all these players deserve to be recognised for their talent, perseverance and sheer ability to go on doing their job with the same motivation despite not having being rated aptly for their talent.
Let’s take a look at XI players who despite their splendid displays have missed the lens of the media.
GK- Eric Ofori Antwi (Medeama SC) – 
The Medeama goalie gets the nod here. He is arguably one of the best goal custodians in the country at the moment. He has been very consistent since his days with Tema Youth and Asante Kotoko.
Most of his club’s first XI are getting the praise they deserve his season, but few are talking about the just how big an impact Antwi has had on the side.
RB- Michael Ampadu (Liberty Professionals) – 
Michael Ampadu does, of course, get recognition for his performances, but it's nowhere near what he deserves.
The right-footed player is as versatile as they come, playing on the right, the left or even in the middle - and he never looks out of place or uncomfortable.
Equally, he never kicks a fuss over the fact that he may not be playing in his preferred position, instead, he works tirelessly to help his side. This attitude mixed with his ability on the ball (and goal threat) makes him a truly outstanding footballer. 
CB- Massawudu Abdulai (Dreams FC
 Undeniably underappreciated, Dreams FC’s centre-back has gained a cult hero status at the club. Although aggressive, he has a patient side as well and does not rush in and tackle unnecessarily.
He gives a solid presence at the back and can dominate the box. He can also work his way forward and start attacks from the back.
Additionally, he is not flustered under pressure and clears his lines when necessary. Perhaps more importantly, he is a leader, the kind of player others look up to and improve upon their game to impress.
With him in the side, the Still Believe faithful know that the other teammates will perform because he wouldn’t have it otherwise.
CB- Issaka Mohammed- (Elmina Sharks)
Elmina Sharks enjoyed a good run at a point in the league with some wonderful displays but  Issaka Mohammed’s impact at the club has been grossly underrated- despite at the club for almost three seasons.
The versatile defender may not make the headlines like Benjamin Tweneboah, Ishmael Hammond, Richard Mpong, but discount his importance at your peril as he has been pivotal to the progress and uptick in Aduana’s form this season. 
He offers versatility at the club, slotting into both a right-back and a centre-back role to good effect due to his ability to read the game and effective distribution of the ball.
His impressive avoidance of injury shows him to be a professional in every sense of the word, a reliable defender who deserves the acclamation like many of his teammates receive.
LB- Dennis Mensah (Elmina Sharks)
Solid in the tackle, quite good aerially considering his small stature and always a willing option on the outside, Mensah offers much in an attacking sense.
His mixture of pace and dribbling prowess somewhat underrated, the left-back remains important to the Yaw Acheampong led team.
As far as being an attacking threat, there isn't a player featured on this list who is a better crosser of the ball than Mensah. His ability to whip over crosses with both direction and pace is unmatched within this group, while he also is a constant threat down the flank and is reliable in possession.
Defensively, Mensah is more than solid: positionally sound, quick across the ground and tenacious in the tackle. It's not often he’s neither given the run-around by an opposing wideman nor found out of position.
The 19- year old joined Sharks at the start of the campaign and has instantly become a mainstay in the team. In 8 games for the Elmina based club, he has scored 1 and registered 4 assists.
CDM- Moro Salifu (Bechem United)
Game after game, "Mr. Reliable" never lets his manager down. He operates in an environment where his ball work is combined with grit.
He is strong, quick, good in the air and is adept to using his body to shield the ball away from danger and his speed ensures he can make powerful recovery tackles when required. His role in the centre of midfield has been a pivotal element, where he has a much greater effect on proceedings.
He is a textbook example of an underrated star, as he is a versatile force who is adept in both attack and defence, and a keystone in Kwaku Danso’s dazzling Bechem United squad.
Whilst the Bechem lads crush the opposition with their free flowing attacking fleet, Salifu gives them the license to do so, thriving in a deep-lying role which requires not only defensive discipline, but exceptional game management.
He scored 2 goals in 14 appearances before the league was suspended.
CM- Mubarik Alhassan (Liberty Professionals)
As silky and talented as they come, Mubarik ‘Iniesta’ Alhassan makes football look easy such is his vision and quality on the ball.
Yet, the Liberty Professionals playmaker does not earn the public admiration of the Ghanaian football community that he deserves. It is perhaps due to his perceived lack of direct impact on the scoresheet- but all you have to do is look at his performances for his club to be convinced of his prowess. He has scored 5 goals in 12 games and registered 4 assists.
Contrary to popular belief and perception, he is actually a very intelligent footballer, which he demonstrates emphatically with his astute positioning and covering of his teammates.  He is a class act but certainly one of the most underrated players in the Ghanaian league.
CAM- Elvis Kyei Baffour (Liberty Professionals)
The young lad has been a game changer in his recent appearances for the club. Blessed with a devastating pace, he has also displayed great vision for the club when in the final third, making him a nightmare for defenders.
He has the capabilities to carve defences open at the drop of a hat, and vision in the final third (or indeed anywhere) that stands head and shoulders above many in his position. He’s been involved in 11 goals, scoring 8 with three assists.
RW- Benjamin Boateng (Elmina Sharks)
 His direct running and exquisite footwork causes many a defender trouble. There was never a question the tricky forward would feature as a starter.
He appears unstoppable at the moment. He has scored vital goals for his club and proved himself to be one of the most versatile and potent attackers in the league with 6 goals. His selfish nature bucks the trend of those leading the line, as he is neither a traditional or false nine.
His work ethic is something to behold. Aside his goals, his link-up play and running pattern allow his teammates to thrive.
LW- Prince Adu Kwabena (Bechem United)
 It is hard to imagine how Bechem United would fare without the teenager and it is fair to say they will struggle to replace him.
Until this season, the Bechem United team previously strokes no fear into opposing teams.
The slight-of-frame forward, who has an outstanding work rate, sublime technical skills and a terrific range of passing, has been the reason this Bechem United side can’t be underrated.
Such a mature performance demonstrates perfectly what an asset Prince Adu Kwabena is to the Kwaku Danso’s side- an asset not only in attack but a real team player in terms of covering up for his teammates. He’s found the net eight times in 13 games.
ST- Ibrahim Osman (King Faisal)
What he brings to the King Faisal team is much more than just goal scoring prowess. He is the final piece in the puzzle; knitting attacks together and pulling defenders all over the place.
The on-loan Kotoko forward‘s work-rate and ability on the ball have never been in question but add to that regular goals, and you are dealing with one of the best in the business.
He has scored 8 goals and has assisted on two occasions. His ability in front of goal is nothing to scoff at, nor is it solely down to the superb service from teammates. Simply put Osman scores goals.
Ignatius Osei-Fosu- No explanation needed… it is what it is
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