Over the past couple of years , the Ghana Premier League has lacked a real gem, it has been the home for under appreciated footballers. With foreign based players headlining the national teams more often.
Local players account for less than 5 percent of the total player count in the various senior national teams. The hard truth of all is that, in the local leagues, players hit average age of 26 years before they get an appearance at the professional level. Is very embarrassing and gives us a little quality at the high level. Players at such level only crave for foreign deals hence the league always lacking quality
One of the very first exceptional player that can match the waves is Justice Blay. Asante Kotoko signed him on loan for last season, and he demonstrated just why he is worth the price tag. But just like any other, Blay hits 28 years.The defensive midfielder is at his peak.
Before close of last season, Blay had racked up 21 appearances and 1,710 minutes in the league and the champions league and was by far the player of the season for Kotoko
STYLE OF PLAY
Blay is a midfielder with almost boundless potential. He has the ability to do so much: he can defend, and also be a real threat in the opponents 18 yard box. His skill set is that of a hybrid between a number six and number eight, sometimes a typical number 5. A blend of hard tackling, regaining possession (Pressing), and a tenacious defender. His wide range of abilities enable coaches to deploy him in number of roles. At Kotoko, in most cases: he played as the deepest midfielder, as well as in the three-man midfield as the most balanced of the trio. He doubles as a main pivot.
At Kotoko he managed 9 clean sheets and with a total goals conceded of 11 in all matches he had featured, complete all 90 minutes except one. Blay managed to average of 3.10 tackles won, 4.52 interceptions and 14.20 recoveries per game . There were only 12 times he was not involved in a build-up sequence giving him 98.3% improvement in all open build ups for Kotoko. He averages 11.23 open play build possesion start per every 90 minutes and 28.14 open play sequence start per game.
He can continuously execute passes, ranging from simple ones that intend to keep the ball moving, to expansive ones which aim to exploit space, isolations and overloads- with relative ease. He is capable of making a difference going forward from deep positions with a pass.
There is plenty to like about him during defensive phases too. He works hard to retreat into defensive positions or to press opponents when team cedes possession, while his tenacity is an endearing attribute. That tenacious approach is clear when he tackles; he shuts down players quickly, engages in physical contact, stabs a foot in or wraps a leg around; often regaining possession. Blay’s very solid physical attributes contribute to his defensive game. He looks a couple of inches taller than his listed height of 5.9″, he has good balance and can run fairly quickly over short and long distances
All that said, Blay no means a flawless prospect. there are aspects to his technical and mental skill set which are legitimate causes for concern. One such issue; and probably the most worrying is his passing accuracy and also ball retention abilities. Blay plays with space and barely comes out in tighter areas. Be it making a decidedly poor decision, dramatically under-hitting or misplacing a pass, struggling to gather or maintain possession. These gaps could be exploited by top division teams.
Forecast For the Future
It might not be really ideal for any club to spend that huge for a player at his age regardless of his high abilities. Medeama SC can quickly cash on him to a bigger African club or risk having no money value in the next year round. That said Kotoko might be the club in most need of such talent to add up to a host of average players in their African Campaign.
It is either Justice now or never for Medeama SC and Kotoko