The erstwhile Black Stars attacker shares his thoughts on the way forward for the West African country in their latest bid
The West Africans have set their sights on augmenting their current team with players of Ghanaian descent abroad, with Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah and Brighton and Hove Albion right-back Tariq Lamptey are high on their wish list.
Ghana’s low success rate in winning over dual nationals in recent times does not look good in any way, casting doubt over their latest bids.
“There is a lot of Ghanaian talent abroad, especially in England, Germany, and Holland but we always wait for them to play first-team football before they get our attention,” Tanko, a former Ghana international and assistant coach, told Wontumi Sports.
“If we want to integrate them into our national team, we need to start early. A player like Tariq Lamptey has the potential of playing for the England national team because he plays in England.”
Ghana’s struggles in recent times have not been helped by reports about the use of black magic, popularly known as ‘juju’, by members of the Black Stars.
Tanko believes former Ghana internationals based abroad could be deployed to help convey the right message to the current targets.
“If we ask these former players to speak to the youngsters, they can convince them because they have experience in dealing with players.
“I know the Turkish FA have an office in Germany because they know they are Turkish players who are based in Germany. So if we do the same, we will get these players.”
Ghana have also targeted Belgium youth attacker Francis Amuzu, former Netherlands U21 star Derrick Luckassen, current Netherlands youth striker Brian Brobbey, former France youth defender Enoch Kwateng and France-born duo Elisha Owusu and Alexander Djiku to play for the Black Stars.
“There are a lot of perceptions about how Ghanaian footballers play the game,” Ghana Football Association (GFA) Executive Council member and Black Stars Management Committee chairman George Amoakoh told Nhyira FM.
“Destructive tendencies in the game, those who deliberately want to injure you and cut short your career.
“Then the usual unending speculations, especially about Ghanaian players using ‘juju’ to play football.
“Even those [players in the diaspora] who were raised here and go to Europe to play there, most of them because of ‘juju’ don’t want to play for Ghana.
“It’s a very big problem we are trying to unravel and make right.”
Anderlecht teenager Jeremy Doku, who was approached for a switch of international allegiance from Belgium to Ghana earlier this year, snubbed the Black Stars to make a competitive senior appearance for his country of birth earlier this month and become permanently cap-tied to the Red Devils.