Who were Ghana’s best and worst in last season’s English Premier League?
The just-ended season of England’s top-flight had a number of Ghanaians strutting their stuff for clubs all over the table, from top through to bottom. As the dust settles, though, KickerGH, per criteria explained in an earlier article, ranks the bunch from first to last.
ANDRE AYEW (Midfielder, Swansea City) – 341 POINTS
The title may have gone to the Leicester City boys but, on a purely personal level, Swansea’s Andre Ayew had arguably the finest season of Ghana’s Premier League stars. All his 34 appearances were starts, seeing full action in all but 12 of the lot, and the handful of games he missed were primarily due to injury. Netting a dozen league goals — including a brace against Liverpool in the match that sealed the Swans’ top-flight ticket for another season — he topped the club’s scoring charts, ahead of Player of the Year Gylfi Sigurdsson. Nearly half of the 26-year-old’s strikes came against members of the league’s traditional elite, and it’s little wonder he got named Swansea’s Newcomer of the Year.
JORDAN AYEW (Forward, Aston Villa) – 261 POINTS
Jordan mirrored his older sibling’s act by topscoring in the league for Aston Villa — and he might just have picked some prize for his earnest effort had the club’s end-of-season awards not been scrapped — but his seven goals could ultimately do little as Villa sank to a shameful relegation experience. Of 30 games, Jordan started 27 and finished 20, appearing as a substitute in another three. Life in the Championship, with less pressure and scrutiny, should do his confidence lots of good — too bad, though, that he’d miss out on next term’s rankings.
JEFFREY SCHLUPP (Defender, Leicester City) – 183 points
The youngster’s season was blighted by injuries and he didn’t have enough opportunities to improve as much as he would have liked on the previous term’s performance. When fit, however, Schlupp played his part in Leicester City’s title-winning business, making 24 appearances overall, 10 of which were starts, and being directly involved in three goals (scoring one, assisting two). Voted Leicester’s Young Player of the Season — an award he claimed for 2014/15 as well — Schlupp may not have had the perfect campaign, but it was definitely one to be proud of.
ABDUL RAHMAN BABA (Defender, Chelsea) – 136 Points
His multiple ten-minute YouTube videos, lofty praises from his national team coach, rave reviews and all meant Baba Rahman started off life at then champions Chelsea under a huge weight of expectation; needless to say, his summer transfer to join the Blues, long and drawn out as it proved, didn’t help ease the pressure.
Pushed down the pecking order at left-back, Baba managed just eleven appearances — lasting the full course in eight of those — during which he made only one direct contribution to goalscoring. It was a generally disappointing season for Chelsea itself, with the club mounting the worst EPL title defence in history, but Baba will look back on his first year in England and spot lots of areas he could improve on going forward.
DANIEL AMARTEY (Defender, Leicester City) – 39 points
Another young gun, Amartey joined the Foxes mid-season and took some time to get going, making only five appearances all season but starting just once. While Amartey will doubtlessly be pleased with a priceless Premier League winners’ medal, this was nothing more than a bedding-in experience for the Ghanaian who will be hoping to really push further in the future
CHRISTIAN ATSU (Midfielder, Bournemouth/Chelsea) – N/A
Ghana winger Atsu, on loan at Bournemouth from Chelsea, never enjoyed a single minute of league football due to a variety of factors before being farmed out to Spain’s Malaga, for which reason not much could be said of him.
So there you have it: KickerGH’s ranking of Ghanaian internationals who had a share in the 2015/16 English Premier League season. In the poll below, though, you can show whether or not you agree with us. Really, who was your own favourite?