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World Cup 2022 Youngsters to watch: Kamaldeen Sulemana

Could Sulemana prove the star for the Black Stars?

Name: Kamaldeen Sulemana

Age: 20 (at time of writing)

Position: Left-Wing

Place of Birth: Techiman, Ghana

National team career: 10 caps (0 goals)

Current club: Stade Rennais Football Club

Former Hamburger SV and Borussia Dortmund midfielder was assistant to former coach Milovan Rajevac before taking up the post as his own in February on an interim basis before being confirmed as coach moving forward, and the task has fallen on his shoulders to get the Black Stars fit and firing in time to make an impression in Qatar.

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Thus far he has largely failed, however, with Ghana securing just one win in their last five matches (1-2-2) in a 3-0 win against Madagascar; which is only small improvement over their 0-3-3 record to start 2022, with a frustrating lack of goals at the heart of their troubles.

Stade Rennais winger Kamalseen Sulemana could potentially offer a solution to what ails the African giants.

A product of the Right to Dream academy and parent Danish outfit FC Nordsjaelland, Sulemana was a standout performer for Nordsjaelland as part of a cadre of Ghanaian imports – including now AFC Ajax midfielder Mohammed Kudus – looking to break into the top leagues on the continent.

Sulemana got his chance last season when he was prized away from Denmark by Brittany-based Stade Rennais for a Danish record-breaking 20million Euro fee, with the Techima-native starting like a house on fire before injury ended his conributions.

With technical craft capable of affecting the ebb and flow of a match, blistering pace, and a solid mix of both creativity and the ability to find the back of the net, Sulemana should profile as a player capable of being a possible x-factor for Oddo this winter.

At current, Ghana rely heavily on iconic sibling pair André and Jordan Ayew for the bulk of their goals, with 42 international goals between them. Veteran midfield pair Thomas Partey and Mubarak Wakaso add a further 26 goals to their credit, but the current national team fold lack creative quality in depth and must begin to build long-term.

Oddo is not afraid to put faith in the younger generation, however, with Felix Afena-Gyan (US Cremonese), Daniel Afriyie (Hearts of Oak), and Abdul Fatawu Issahaku (Sporting CP) all players that are 21 or younger with recent caps in their profile.

Though Sulemana has only started two of Rennais’ thirteen Ligue 1 fixtures this season while he works himself back into the fold at Roazhon Park under Bruno Génésio, his inclusion in the World Cup squad – even as an impact sub – could offer Ghana a weapon for Oddo to utilize well.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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