AS Roma teenager, Felix Afena-Gyan is likely to reject his debut Black Stars call-up, his agent, Oliver Arthur has hinted.
Arthur posted on Twitter that the “player development is a partnership that cannot be rushed. Let’s stay focused on the long term win.”
Congratulations @ohenegyanfelix9 @ edmundAddo, two outstanding young men from the @ArthurLegacy family who have earned call ups by @ghanafaofficial for World Cup qualifiers.— Oliver Arthur (@OliverArthurALS) November 4, 2021
Player development is a partnership that cannot be rushed. Let’s stay focused on the long term win.
This post comes after Joy Sports’ sources confirmed Roma were reluctant to release the 18-year-old as they feel it is too early in the striker’s development to have him fully committed to senior international football.
The Serie A club are also in a battle to finish in the top four, and fear Afena-Gyan may leave for the Africa Cup of Nations in January if he accepts the invite.
- World Cup qualifiers: Felix Afena-Gyan included in Black Stars squad to face Ethiopia and South Africa
Afena-Gyan was included in Milovan Rajevac’s 28-man squad for the final round of the World Cup qualifiers against Ethiopia and South Africa.
Afena-Gyan’s incredible rise
Afena-Gyan became the second youngest debutant in the 2021/22 Serie A season after being subbed on against Cagliari.
The Ghanaian helped Roma turn the game around in the second half as Jose Mourinho’s men picked up all three points after being a goal down.
He is from a village in Wenchi called “Beposo” and completed high school at Berekum Presec in 2019.
Afena-Gyan was among the players selected for the Regional School team after the 2018 inter-SHS games. He didn’t play professionally for any team in Ghana. He only featured for a juvenile team in Wenchi called Real Madrid and another team called Watomba 11.
After high school, he was taken to the EurAfrica Academy where he was given the chance to go for trials with AC Milan.
Despite scoring goals in his trials with AC Milan, a possible deal fell through as Roma swooped for the Ghanaian instead.
Just a day after his unveiling on March 13, the youngster made a spectacular start to his AS Roma career by scoring and providing an assist on his debut for the under-18 side in a 5-0 thumping of Genoa.
He followed up that display for coach Aniello Parisi’s side by scoring in his next two matches and was so impressive he earned a quick promotion to Roma’s Primavera under-19 squad.
He is currently the top scorer in Italy’s Primavera 1 with six goals.
After his debut against Cagliari, the striker was given another opportunity by Mourinho against AC Milan, coming in the start of the second half against the Rossoneri.
What Mourinho has said about Afena-Gyan
“With Felix, tomorrow he is a player who is not registered for the Conference League. But he is a player with qualities that we don’t really have in the squad. He’s a player who looks for opportunities that we don’t often try to exploit,” Mourinho said at the pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
“We have a lot of players who want the ball at the feet; we don’t have many who look for the spaces to run into. I like him because of how he tries to run into space and how he works out on the pitch. How he presses. He’s aggressive in the spaces.
“He is a long, long way from being the finished product – a long way from being a complete player and a long way from being the perfect player to start for a team like Roma. But he is a player that deserves to be worked with and deserves a chance to play.
“It’s good for him that he is training with us, just as it is good for other players.”
What has Afena-Gyan said about Mourinho
“First of all, I will like to say thank you to Roma and everyone for the opportunity they gave me. I am very happy,” he told AS Roma TV.
”The coach believed in me that’s why he sent me to the field and due to that I didn’t want to prove him wrong or prove myself wrong.
”I need to work hard and have a strong mentality and give my best on the field to support the team.”
What next for Afena-Gyan
From all indications, Afena-Gyan remains in the long term plans of Roma. Mourinho admires what he offers the team and will most likely get more opportunities in the team.
The decision to pull out from the Black Stars squad will in the long term help the player as he will have more chances to develop before dealing with national team pressure.
The forward isn’t registered in the Europa Conference League and will continue to get more minutes in Serie A as he trains with the senior team.
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