Sunday, 19 July 2020 22:32

FIIFI's EYE: Meet the Five Ghanaian players at West Ham Featured

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The likes of Kim Grant, Hans Adu Sarpei, Kelvin Prince Boateng, Otto Addo et al have one thing in common. They are Ghanaians born in the diaspora and had the opportunity to represent the Black Stars at a point in their careers.
There are still an avalanche of their ilk carving a niche for themselves in the sport. The performances churned out by these young footballers has gained media attention hence the resolve of my of the Ghanaian populace requesting for their inclusion into any of the nation's male national teams.
Here, attempts to throw the searchlight on these players at West Ham United.
Joseph Tetteh Anang
Joseph Anang
Anang is currently the first choice goalkeeper for the West Ham U23 team who is in line for a promotion to the club's senior team
He joined joined West Ham as a scholar in 2017 after leaving his home country, Ghana in order to secure a dream professional contract. 
His trial period with the Hammers was successful and he was snapped up to pursue his football dream where he was drafted into the U18 side of West Ham United.
Whilst playing for the Under-18s team, he made five starts before spending July 2018 on the pre-season tour to Austria with the first-team squad.
Former West United manager Manuel Pellegrini picked the shot-stopper in a number of matchday squads last season.
Anang started seven of West Ham United’s opening U18 Premier League South fixture in 2018/19, helping the Hammers to wins in their opening four matches.
He was then called up to the Under-23 squad in September 2018 and also started in the Checkatrade Cup first round game against Bristol Rovers in the same month.
He has been impressive for the Hammers at the U23 side, making 19 appearances with eight clean sheets.
Anang was handed a call-up to the England U19 and U20 side last year but still eligible to represent Ghana.
The Ghanaian is robust and well-built for someone so young, meaning the physicality of the Premier League should not be a problem. This allows him to command his box imperiously.
Anang is a great shot-stopper in the classic sense, using his reflexes well.
Keenan Appiah-Forson
Keenan Appiah-Forson
The 18-year-old is one of the best combative midfielders in the English Premier League 2 following his tenacious and energetic output at the West Ham United youth teams.
Appiah-Forson born to Ghanaian parents in London has been boxing the midfield for the Hammers at their U18 team before earning promotion to the U23 team to mark his debut against Middlesbrough U23 team.
He joined the West Ham United Academy at the age of 14 following a successful trial, and in recent years lodging at the ‘Academy digs’ house near Chadwell Heath.
The London-born was offered a professional contract at West Ham United last month.
Appiah-Forson is the kind of character who evidently relishes everything about the game. 
On the pitch, the 18-year-old is a lively presence in midfield who loves pouncing on any opportunity to win back possession.
Given the right moment, Appiah-Forson is also not afraid to burst forwards, the youngster scored a spectacular half-volley against then-unbeaten Chelsea U18s in January to kickstart another comeback win for the Irons.
He is eligible to feature for either Ghana or England at any level.
Sean Jordan Adarkwa
West Ham United offer fresh deal to Ghanaian sensation Sean Adarkwa
The lanky striker has been destined for greatness following his goal scoring prowess at the London based club.
Adarkwa became a full-time scholar at the West Ham Academy of Football in July 2017.
He joined them at age 16
The teenager appeared 17 times in U18 Premier League South as a first-year scholar in 2017/18, starting eleven games and scoring two goals.
Adarkwa made his Premier League 2 debut as a substitute at Swansea City on 29 January 2018 and continued to impress sufficiently to be given regular opportunities at U23 level at the start of the 2018/19 season.
He has scored three goals in his 4 appearances for West Ham United U23 team this season so far.
Michael Adu
Adu is one of the budding talented midfielders who graduated from the West Ham Academy of Football last year
He made his first appearance for West Ham United in an U18 Premier League South matchday squad against Swansea on 19 January 2019.
His sterling performance at the club's academy made him sign a scholarship terms last summer, Adu was also named by Kevin Keen on the bench for the U18 Hammers' 3-3 draw at home to Reading on 31 August 2019.
The 17-year-old has featured once for the West Ham United U18 side in the ongoing season.
His parents who are from Ghana makes him eligible to represent either the West African nation or England at any level in future.
Benicio Baker-Boaitey
He is the new wonder-kid touted by most English pundits following his exploits at age 16.
Baker-Boaitey is regarded as one of the best emerging prospects in the Hammers academy and has already attracted admiring glances from Liverpool and Manchester United. 
The English-born of Ghanaian descent, who operates as a winger and a playmaker, has also emerged on the radar of Bayern Munich, who have a close grip on the English academy scene.
Barcelona, PSG and RB Leipzig have already been linked with the youngster who with turn 17 years in January 2021
It is believed that West Ham will offer the teenager a professional contract, which he is able to sign once he turns 17 in January. However, there is significant doubt over whether Baker-Boaitey will sign the contract as interest from elsewhere grows.
West Ham are keen for Baker-Boaitey to sign pro terms and could fast-track the youngster into the first-team plans over the coming months in an attempt to convince the teenager of his pathway into the first team.
But it remains to be seen if the Hammers can persuade Baker-Boaitey that his future remains at the London Stadium.
West Ham signed Baker-Boaitey from Queens Park Rangers at age 12.
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