Why Middlesbrough should complete a move for Deabeas Owusu-Sekyere
According to claims from reliable journalist Wayne Veysey, Middlesbrough are weighing up a move for Dutch teenager Deabeas Owusu-Sekyere, manager Jonathan Woodgate keen to add to his attacking options following a disappointing start to the campaign.
The same report suggests that the 19-year-old forward, who is currently on trial at the Riverside Stadium, has also attracted interest from fellow Championship outfit Barnsley.
The 19-year-old rose through the youth ranks of Ajax, playing in the same youth teams as Matthijs de Ligt and Justin Kluivert, but he failed to make the grade at the senior level and had stints at Portuguese clubs Freamunde and Leixoes before being released by the latter earlier in the summer.
The Dutchman is currently a free agent, meaning that Middlesbrough are unlikely to face any problems in registering him outside of the transfer window should they opt to offer him a professional contract.
Deabeas Owusu-Sekyere is set to be assessed at close quarters by the Boro coaching staff when he features for the club’s U-23s in the Premier League 2 Division 2 and any decision to get him on board is likely to depend on whether he manages to impress Woodgate.
Given his lack of exposure at the senior professional level, not much is known about the trialist apart from the fact that he is a right-footed centre-forward who also has the versatility to play out wide and through the centre in a supporting role.
Meanwhile, Middlesbrough have made a lacklustre start to their campaign in the Championship under Woodgate.
A change of fortunes was expected when Woodgate took over the reins from Tony Pulis in the summer.
While the change of philosophy to a more attacking and attractive one has been a notable difference, Boro haven’t really able to achieve the desired results, was with the club managing only 2 victories from their first 11 league fixtures.
A modest tally of 11 goals in 11 games certainly calls for attacking reinforcements in January and given that the likes of Marcus Browne, Marcus Tavernier and Marvin Johnson haven’t really contributed a lot in terms of goals and assists, Woodgate clearly has a lot to think about.
To that end, getting a talented youngster like Debeas Owusu-Sekyere on board wouldn’t be the worst idea and the 19-year-old’s availability on a free transfer certainly makes him a gamble worth taking for Middlesbrough.
Given Ajax’s scintillating track record in blooding top-quality young talents, Boro have enough reason to believe in the potential of Owusu-Sekyere even though he failed to make the grade in his homeland. Of course, they should be wise enough to assess the youngster at close quarters before offering him a new lease of life.
Keeping in mind the ongoing attacking crisis at the club, the door is pretty much open for a talented youngster to come in and make an instant impact on the first-team.
The 19-year-old is likely to initially ply his trade with the U-23s if a deal does materialize and then it will be up to prove his worth and eventually stake a claim for a senior call-up.
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All in all, there is no guarantee that Deabeas Owusu-Sekyere would be able to push on and cut the mustard in the Championship, given his lack of previous professional experience in English football, but the teenager is certainly worth a punt for the Teessiders on a free transfer.
The move could turn out to be a real masterstroke in the future if he does go on to fulfil his promise.