Just a few years ago, Abdul Majeed Waris was the pride of the nation, the envy of a whole host of top clubs in Europe including Manchester United. After a couple of seasons of going below the radar, the Ghanaian international now is back on the spot light again after reports that Manchester United are after him. So, why are the Red Devils keen on his signature? Is he the type of striker that the club need? For all this and more just read on.
Abdul Majeed Waris was born in Tamale, Ghana in September 1991 and started his career at the Ghanaian Right to Dream Academy at the age of 12. In 2007, Waris moved to England and joined Hartpury College, where he played for the Forest Green Rovers’ reserve side. In 2008, Waris appeared in the Gothia Cup and his impressive performances earned him a move to Swedish side BK Häcken in 2009.
It was in Sweden that Waris caught the attention of the world as he became the first player in the Allsvenskan to score five goals in one match in the 21st century. He finished as the League’s top scorer in 2012 and moved to Spartak Moscow later that year. Although he struggled to adapt to life in Russia, his loan move to French club Valenciennes in January 2014 saw him return to his goal scoring ways. But that wasn’t enough as the side went down and Waris, who wanted to stay in France moved to Turkish club Trabzonspor in the summer.
Style of Play
Although he is only 5’7, he is in many ways, the striker that defenders hate to deal with; quick, good in the air and capable of making his way past them with consummate ease. One of the key characteristics of Waris’ play is his pace and agility, which makes him versatile and capable of playing as both a left-sided attacker or a central striker. He has the pace to get in behind the defenders and finish and is also capable of dribbling past his opponent before finding a perfect through ball for his team mate. His low centre of gravity and his electric pace means that he is fouled often and is a constant source of set pieces for his side.
Waris’ biggest strength is undoubtedly his pace. There aren’t that many footballers who can simply breeze past defenders as if they weren’t there. Waris is one of them and not only does he have the pace, but also the trickery and agility to get behind the defence. One thing that separates him from other speedy wingers is his finishing prowess. When your game depends on such high speed, it is sometimes difficult to concentrate on things such as finishing, but the 23-year-old is very adept at that and has shown it throughout his career, for both club and country.
If there is one thing that Waris should definitely work on, it is his ability to hold onto the ball. Far too often he is bullied off the ball and if the 23-year-old wants to establish himself as a world class striker, then he has to improve his game, with his back to goal.
Having previously been linked with a whole host of clubs only to move to Russia, Waris will be weary of choosing his next club. With United reportedly sending in scouts and even Ryan Giggs to watch the player, the odds of him moving to the club look good, even if he only just moved to Turkey this summer.
In just 108 games, Waris has scored 40 goals and created 18 more. Creating or scoring a goal every other game is a strike rate that many would only dream of, but Waris has been consistently doing that for the past few years. A move to a club like United would represent his biggest challenge yet. United fans will be hoping that he turns out to be the next Javier Hernandez rather than the next Bebe and given his qualities, the Ghanaian striker might well finish with a better strike rate at the club than the Mexican given the quality of the supply line at his disposal.