Of all the young Ghanaian prospects out there, the star of Christian Atsu shines the brightest. The speedy left winger, who plays for Porto, has seen his stock rise over the last two years as he has made a large impact on both the Portuguese league and his national team.
He started his football career at the largest football academy in Ghana, the Feyenoord Academy. In 2010, he got snapped up by FC Porto, he immediately began to flourish winning the Blue Stars FIFA Youth Championship with the Porto youth team. In that tournament he picked up the Player of the Tournament and was subsequently voted as Porto’s Young Player of The Year for the 2010/2011 season. Before the campaign ended he was called up to the first team by then-coach Andre Villas-Boas but was an unused substitute. For Atsu, though he didn’t feature in the game, that brief stint armed him with the motivation to forge on for further successes.
To get first-team experience Atsu was sent on loan to Rio Ave, where he was a revelation, making 27 appearances and scoring 6 goals. This did not get unnoticed and he got the call from national team officials and was handed his first cap on the 1st June 2012, scoring in a 7-0 win against Lesotho. Even though he played well in his first two games for his country, his performance against Malawi in September 2012 was what made people sit up and take more notice of Atsu. He put in an incredible performance which left the Ghanaian fans and journalists singing the praises of this previously unknown talent. With a majestic first touch and a thirst for taking on players he was quickly dubbed “the Ghanaian Messi”. Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan said at the time: “I’ve seen all three games that he has played for Ghana and he’s been incredible. If he continues this way he’s going to be a star.”
He has carried that form into this season, playing a key role in Porto’s push for the title and playing in the Ghana team that reached the semi-finals of the AFCON. He has pace, trickery and strength which makes him a formidable winger and has made full-backs look like fools in recent games. A big-money move to the Premier League could be on the cards with reports that his old boss AVB is eager to bring him to Tottenham in the upcoming transfer window.
I believe he would suit Tottenham’s style of play as he is lethal on the counter and can start attacks extremely quickly. If he can add more goals to his game I can see him becoming one of the top wingers in Europe.