10 Black Stars players facing relegation threat
With only a few games remaining in the majority of Europe’s top-flight leagues, a number of Black Stars players will have a lot to do with their clubs to achieve their goals in this critical phase of their season. While a few appear to be seeking championships and continental championship positions, many Ghanaian internationals are fighting for survival.
Unfortunately, a couple of them missed out on it, as Andy Yiadom and Baba Rahman were relegated from the English Championship to League One, where they may now face goalkeeper Joseph Wollacott who plays for Charlton Athletic.
Again, Mohammed Salisu who has been recently battling with injuries, and his compatriot Kamaldeen Sulemana who joined from Rennes in January had their club Southampton relegated following a 2-0 defeat to Fulham last weekend.
That notwithstanding there are many more who could see their teams demoted. Here is a list of 10 players facing relegation threat.
Name: Andre Ayew
Club: Nottingham Forest
With only two matches remaining in the English Premier League season, the Black Stars skipper is facing a difficult situation with his club. Nottingham Forest are now 16th in the table with 34 points (three points above the relegation zone) and face two challenging games against title rivals Arsenal and a resurgent Crystal Palace. The Reds returned to the Premier League after a 23-year absence, but they may be forced to return to the Championship after just a season. Ayew has made 12 appearances since arriving as a free agent but has missed the past two games.
Name: Daniel Amartey
Club: Leicester City
Seven years after winning the Premier League title, the Foxes might be playing in the championship next season. They are currently in 19th place only above Southampton who have already been confirmed relegated after their defeat to Fulham last weekend. Leicester City have 30 points in 36 games after winning just eight of their matches. They will visit St James’ Park to face Newcastle United who are bent on qualifying for the UEFA Champions League. Leicester will also play West Ham on the final day
Amartey has not had the best of seasons in the current campaign as he seems not to be favoured by manager Dean Smith. The Black Stars centre-back has not played a single minute under the new manager who has overseen six Premier League games.
Name: Iddrisu Baba
Club: RCD Mallorca
Iddrisu Baba’s Mallorca could be ten points away from the drop zone but are not mathematically safe with four matches to end the season. Their remaining fixtures are not too favourable as they face champions Barcelona as well as inform Valencia who have lost one game in their last five matches. Mallorca’s aim to retain their top-flight status has been evident in coach Javier Aguirre’s pragmatic approaches in recent matches including playing Baba Iddrisu as a centre-back.
Name: Joseph Aidoo
Club: Celta Vigo
The former Inter Allies defender might be enjoying one of his best seasons as a professional footballer but would have to try harder with his teammates to salvage their season as they sit 13th with 39 points. They are just five points above the danger zone and have some difficult fixtures to clear. Athletic Bilbao, Girona, Cadiz and Barcelona will be their remaining fixtures
Name: Felix Afena-Gyan
The youngster who was once tipped to take the world by storm after impressing under Jose Mourinho at AS Roma is in the midst of a tough battle in the Italian Serie A. Since joining the club last summer, Afena-Gyan has struggled to earn a starting place with the 19th-placed side who have to win at least two of their last three matches convincingly and expect results elsewhere to favour them in order to remain in the league. They are only above already-relegated Sampdoria on the league table with 24 points, six away from earning a safe spot. They have won four matches out of the 35.
Name: Edmund Addo
Club: Spartak Subotica
Edmund Addo has gone from competing in the UEFA Champions League to battling in the Serbian league to avoid being relegated from the Super League. While his compatriot Osman Bukari helped Red Star Belgrade to clinch the title, Addo’s team sit just one place above the relegation zone and would need to be on the lookout to maintain their status. Subotica have 35 points in 3 games and are just a point away from the danger zone.
Name: Alexander Djiku
Djiku’s Strasbourg would have been safe if only three teams were supposed to be relegated at the end of the season like other top-flight leagues. However, the French Ligue 1 will relegate four teams at the end of the season which is why Strasbourg could be in trouble. Despite sitting 14th on a 20-club league log, they are five points away from the drop zone with three marches to end the season. They will play Troyes, Paris Saint Germain and Lorient in their last matches.
Names: Elisha Owusu & Gideon Mensah
This duo could be demoted with Auxerre due to the club’s inconsistencies. They have failed to win their last four matches and will face the top two Paris Saint Germain and RC Lens in their last three games. They are just a point away from dropping into the danger zone and would need to bounce back in the remaining matches to salvage their season.
Name: Daniel Afriyie Barnieh
Club: FC Zurich
The former Hearts of Oak forward may not have played much for the first team of the Swiss side but could bear the punishment of demotion with the club if they don’t show up in these crucial times. Zurich are seven points away from the relegation slot and with three matches to go, they will just need to avoid defeat to survive the battle.