2022/23 Season: Top Ghanaian players who suffered relegation in Europe
Following the end of the 2022-23 football season across Europe, some Ghanaian players are in the news.
Football is described as a game that rewards great performance but can also be cruel in equal measure, and the latter is the story of some of our top Ghanaian footballers plying their trade across Europe.
Some of the players will be hoping a top-tier club comes to their rescue whereas some committed to their clubs will be looking forward to a fine season at the lower tier and eventually get promoted back to the top flight.
Here are the players who faced the drop:
Daniel Amartey – Leicester City
The 2016 Premier League winner with Leicester City, Amartey saw his stay in the English top flight come to a crushing end as the Foxes were relegated after eight seasons.
The defender managed 20 appearances for his club this season as they finished in 18th position with 34 points.
Amartey is one of the few players linked with some clubs across Europe as his contract runs out this summer.
Mohammed Salisu – Southampton
After three seasons with the Saints, Salisu got to taste relegation and even had to do that with a bitter pill as the promising star was also relegated to the bench with few matches to end the season under coach Ruben Selles, who replaced him with Nathan Jones.
The 23-year-old played just once under the new boss with reports of the player’s commitment to the club as a factor but there was also a report of a troubling injury keeping him on the sidelines.
Salisu garnered a total of 68 appearances in the English Premier League, including 22 appearances he made this season for the Saints.
He is unlikely to extend his deal at the club, which expires in June 2024.
Kamaldeen Sulemana – Southampton
In his quest for regular playing time, Ghanaian speedster Kamaldeen Sulemana made the switch from Ligue 1 side Rennes to the Premier League in January, signing for Southampton.
Despite being tipped to light up the Premier League with his speed and dribbling skills, the Right to Dream Academy graduate struggled to hit the ground running, inadvertently failing to help the Saints stay afloat and maintain their Premier League status.
He made 18 appearances, providing an assist and bagging two goals in Southampton’s final game of the season.
Felix Afena-Gyan – Cremenose
Afena-Gyan caught the eye as a budding talent when he announced himself with goals in his Serie A debut playing for AS Roma.
Afena-Gyan, in August 2022, made a switch to newly-promoted Serie A club Cremonese on a permanent deal but could not sustain his performance and had to suffer relegation in his first full season as a professional.
The youngster has made 23 appearances for the club this season and has only one assist to his credit in the Serie A.
It is currently unclear whether the promising talent will be staying with the Tigers as they return back to the second tier after just a season.
Kevin-Prince Boateng – Hertha Berlin
Kevin-Prince Boateng could be on his way to retirement as earlier announced by the player, the relegation this season of his boyhood idol club is not a fitting parting present.
Hertha Berlin’s relegation to the second tier was confirmed on matchday 33 as they conceded a last-minute equalizer to draw 1-1 with Bochum, finishing rock-bottom of the 18-team league in Germany’s top flight.
Boateng had an injury-ravaged campaign keeping him off the field at most times.
Gideon Mensah – Auxerre
Another Ghanaian who went down was marauding fullback Gideon Mensah. The left-back, cast in the mold of legendary Real Madrid player Marcelo, could not help Auxerre avoid the drop despite his scintillating performance.
The former RB Salzburg defender played the most minutes among his compatriots who suffered relegation – featuring in 26 matches for Auxerre.
Despite his poor goal contribution, Gideon is rated as one of the top performers in his position.
Elisha Owusu – Auxerre
In a similar situation to Prince Boateng, Elisha Owusu endured a difficult campaign back in France after joining Auxerre in the January transfer window.
The nagging nature of his injury – a hamstring contusion – had a toll on his total output for the club, playing just a game, which came in the Coupe de France.
In his absence, his teammates could not stem the tide as Auxerre suffered the drop in a season four clubs were relegated in France due to the decision by LFP to reduce the number of teams to 18 from next season.
Reading FC captain Andy Yiadom suffered a demotion to League One after being relegated from the English Championship.
The Royals were docked six points following a breach of the English Football League’s financial rules, forcing them to drop to the Championship relegation zone for the first time since the season’s opening day.
A winless run by the club after that made it difficult for the club to move out of the drop zone hence kissing Championship football, goodbye.
The 28-year-old loanee from Chelsea, Baba Rahman, could not save Reading FC from being relegated from the second tier of English football.
Rahman, who is currently injured, is a teammate of Andy Yiadom who plays in the wing-back position at the club.
It is unclear the defender’s next destination after his loan expires and he makes it back to parent club Chelsea where he had failed to make the cut since joining them in 2015.