Tuesday, 05 October 2021 22:22

Dickson Afoakwa: 7 Things Asante Kotoko Fans Must Know About The Next Sadio Mane Featured

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Asante Kotoko's love affair with forward Emmanuel Gyamfi looks as though it could be coming to an end, with the two parties seemingly unable to come to an agreement during contract negotiations.

With Gyamfi appearing to be on his way out of Kotoko, what better way to plug the forward gap he'll leave than with another helluva talented replacement.

Dickson Afoakwa has been earning plaudits from the Kotoko faithful since he started training with the club, and the former Dinamo Brest man is reportedly close to agreeing a deal with the Kumasi club.
 
Afoakwa isn't currently a household name in Ghana, but he may be in the near future.
 
But who is Afoakwa and what is there to know about him?
 
• Career Thus Far
 
Ahinsan-born, Afoakwa spent much of his youth career at Liberty FC, a colts club at Ahinsan before making the switch to lower tier side Cornerstone FC.
 
He excelled there and was rewarded with the opportunity to play for Belarussian clubs Dinamo Brest and Gomel; Slovenia's NK Triglav Kranj and Stellenbosch F.C.
of South Africa.
 
• Style of Play
 
Afoakwa is known for an adventurous style of play that could be a good fit for the ‘Kotoko way’. Those familiar with his style suggest he isn’t shy of taking risks and taking responsibility to make something happen for his team.
 
The youngster has the versatility to play on the left, right or centrally behind a main striker. He also has a good command of the ball with both feet, adding an element of unpredictability to his game.
 
A mix of guile, creativity, and pure finishing ability, the 23-year-old is on track to reach the top of the footballing world and it's honestly scary to think how good he could be once he reaches his prime.
 
• He idolises Sadio Mane
 
It's not hard to find a young player who looks up to Sadio Mane, but for Afoakwa, his admiration of the Senegal forward stems more from his work rate than his talent on the pitch.
 
"I always looked up to Sadio Mane," he said. "The way he plays the game with no fear and so much confidence really inspires me - he plays the game like no one else and is a machine.
 
"To still be scoring the amount of goals that he is now is astonishing but it is a result of his work ethic and willingness to stay at the top of the game and prove that he is the best. Also for me having African blood, he inspires me a lot."
 
• Sadio Mane comparisons...because, obviously
 
You guessed it.
 
Any up-and-coming talent ends up with a like-for-like comparison, whether it's the player's coaches or just media hype making the call, it's always bound to happen.
 
So, with him being an African and a wide forward, the natural course of action is to draw up comparisons with one of the best wide forwards in the world, Sadio Mane.
 
How valid those links are is somewhat debatable, but if you see 'next Sadio Mane' floating around anywhere, then presume with some certainty it's Dickson Afoakwa.
 
• Strengths
 
Afoakwa's stand-out attribute is his off the ball movement. His intelligent and crafty movement creates space for himself and opens angles for others in attacking transitions, while he's mastered the art of running in-behind a high defensive line and playing off the shoulder of the last defender.
 
His timing of these types of runs means he's rarely caught offside either. Another facet of his game which can't be overlooked is his work rate. Afoakwa plays a key role for his side out of possession and is diligent in his defensive work.
 
• He uses his intelligence to his advantage
 
 
While not the kind of player to pull out a 40-yard pass, Afoakwa thrives on smaller, subtler plays to leave opponents in the mud. He is a huge fan of the look one way, pass another pass, and regularly goes to that play when under pressure.
 
• He's Not Just Coveted by Kotoko
 
While all the talk has been about a move to Asante Kotoko SC, there has been notable interest from Cypriot giants APOEL FC and Israeli side Beitar Jerusalem as reported by kickgh.com
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