Since the inception of football, Ghana has been endowed with many talented midfielders and one will not be far from right in saying that the midfield of any Ghanaian team, be it at club or national team has always been the driving force which moves the team forward.
Going back to the hey-day of Ghana football, midfielders such as Sunday Ibrahim and Abdul Karim Razak proved a point when they won the African top football awards in 1971 and 1978 respectively. No Ghanaian football loving fan who followed Ghana football over the past four decades can dispute the contributions of the midfield genius of Adolf Armah, and Mohammed Polo the man known as the “dribbling magician.”
In the early 90’s, Ghanaian midfielders were a force to reckon with players such as Abedi Ayew, Stanley Aborah, Prince Polley and others carving a niche for themselves.
Abedi who started his career as a deep-lying playmaker (sitting just in front of the back four) but was later switched to a more advanced offensive midfield role produced sterling performances and his deft touches and scintillating passes were a delight to watch. He crowned it when he won the African best player award three times (1991, 1992 and 1993).
Frankly speaking, the success story of Ghana’s 2006 and 2010 World Cup campaign rested on an impregnable midfield made up of Stephen Appiah, Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari, Anthony Annan, and Andre Ayew.
Currently, one midfielder who is gradually hitting the limelight and has been tipped for greatness is Dreams FC midfielder Emmanuel Lomotey who was named as the club’s player’s player of the season for 2017.
The enterprising midfielder signed for Spanish Segunda B side UD Extremadura on loan on August 31, 2017 after being courted by scouts of the club for several months.
Lomotey is a complete central midfielder with pure vision which enables him to give a defence-splitting pass from forty yards. He also possesses enormous strength, great defending ability and above all an eye for goal.
I vividly remember sitting in the stand at the Ghanaman Soccer Centre of Excellence Park at Prampram dumbfounded as Lomotey ran a one-man show by controlling the midfield of his team and giving incisive and accurate passes with precision and displaying enormous energy.
Even though Dreams FC lost that game by a lone goal to nothing against PureJoy, Lomotey was adjudged man of the match and I remember telling him after the game that though it was my first time of seeing him play, he has really impressed me and I was very optimistic that he would one day become a great player, Lomotey has never looked back since.
He scored against eventual 2016 league winners Wa All Stars and also put up extraordinary performance against Hearts of Oak at the Accra Sports Stadium and Kotoko in Kumasi where he reduced the more established midfielders of these great teams into mere passengers throughout the game when Dreams FC were in the Premier League.
He caught the attention of both Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko though his club were not willing to sell him.
Last year, Lomotey was part of the Ghana national under 20 team (Black Satellites) which failed to qualify for the AYC in Zambia and the World Cup in South Korea and has been on the radars of Hearts of Middlothian in Scotland before choosing to join the Spanish side.
In the just ended season, he was the key man in a Dreams FC midfield trio which included Eli Keke and promoted youth team player Benjamin Ayim. He netted seven goals and provided six assists whilst he also won seven MVP awards.
His style of play perfectly suits Spanish football and he has already been tipped by the Spanish media for greatness by the Spanish media after his new club UD Extremedura published his video.
Lomotey is cast in the mood of Cesc Fabregas and Xavi Hernandez and his game will develop more in Spain who are noted for producing and grooming such talents.
The budding midfielder was instrumental winning one man of the match award and playing full duration in all games as Ghana won the 2017 WAFU Tournament.
Feature By: Edmund Okai Gyimah