While Asante Kotoko are the most successful club in the Ghana Premier League era and have developed a reputation for their shrewdness when it comes to the transfer market, they have made plenty of blunders when it comes to signing players in the last 10 years [2009-2019] and are likely still going to do so.
However, the Kumasi-based club haven’t always spent their money wisely. Indeed, for every Amed Toure or Harrison Afful, there is a Benett Ofori or Samuel Kyere.
GhanaCrusader.com picked out nine that didn’t quite live up to the hype or price-tag.
Disclaimer: This list is highly subjective and has nothing to do with any statistics.
Affectionately known as ‘C.Ro’ was signed from Berekum Chelsea in the 2015/16 league season with an undisclosed fee. He never realised his potential as Kotoko’s new “Porcupine on the wings” and started a string of players that didn’t perform in the Porcupines wings. Ofori was not quite the same player that made the spotlight shine on him during his time at Berekum and moved on to join Medeama SC.
Obed Owusu Ampong
It may seem unfair to include a current player in this list, but large sections of Kotoko fans have had enough of the forward. Once a top performer for Berekum Chelsea before joining Kotoko in 2015, Obed Owusu now looks jittery against most opponents and his lack of goals and assists as a forward might be the last straw for Coach Akonnor and the fans. He is in his fourth season with the club but can’t boast of even 20 goals as a forward.
Once upon a time, Opare formed a deadly duo in midfield with Elvis Opoku at Aduana and when rumours that Asante Kotoko was interested surfaced, supporters grew excited at the prospect of a robotic midfielder signing on at the club. The 31-year-old defensive midfielder was signed to the Porcupine Warriors from Aduana Stars by Croatian trainer Dravko Lugarisic in the 2016/17 season and struggled to cement a place in the team and was put on transfer a couple of times due to his constant injuries.
Emmanuel Osei Carlos
There were high hopes for Osei Carlos when he arrived in Kumasi from Ashanti Gold SC in 2016. Carlos was regarded as the next big thing in Ghanaian football, but things just didn’t turn out that way for him. Now 37, he’s at Kyrgyzstani side Dordoi Bishkek after unsuccessful stints back at Bechem United and Asokwa Deportivo.
A great midfielder, so great a midfielder in fact. He was regarded by the Fabulous fans as the ‘Football President’. The 21-year-old was brought from Techiman City when the side suffered relegation to Division One after the 2015/16 season. In his debut season – the 2016/17 campaign, he made a total 17 outings in the Kotoko shirt – 13 in the league with three goals to his name as well as 4 games in the MTN FA Cup title-winning campaign.
While preparing for the 2017/2018 season, Baba Mahama confessed that on a personal level, he underperformed having arrived as one of the shining stars from the previous campaign.
After featuring in the two games of the Porcupines’ CAF Confederation Cup outing in February 2018, Baba Mahama failed to hold down a regular place in the ongoing 2017/18 ZylofonCash Premier League, featuring in only three league games (twice from the bench) under coach Paa Kwesi Fabin. He had his contract with the club terminated after.
Whether a player like Saddick Adams ever had the requisite discipline to succeed at the highest level is open to debate. What we do know, though, is that his hopes of making it at Kotoko effectively ended the moment he was accused of being a bad influence in the team.
A former Ghana Black Starlet striker that scored 4 goals at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup staged in South Korea. A player who spent time at the Vicente Calderon of Atletico Madrid with the likes of David de Gea.
Most Kotoko fans described the signing of the former Atletico Madrid youth star as a “gamble” due to his history of injury problems.
Saddick Joined the Porcupines on a free transfer in 2017 and scored a lot of match-winning goals in his first season. Mostly through penalty kicks. But what most Kotoko fans will remember him for is his first-half hat trick against rivals Accra Hearts of Oak (during the 2017 MTN FA cup in Tamale which Kotoko won by 3 goals to 1).
His lack of pace and poor positioning saw him the following season vilified by press and supporters. He slide down the pecking order and was released in 2018 to join his former side Ashantigold.
On his day, he was fast, athletic, agile and could whip a cross in. But at his worst- he was pretty bad. Signed from King Faisal for a reported GHC 45,000 old currency, Samad Oppong was expected to kick on and make a name for himself having emerged the joint top scorer in the 2008 Glo Ghana Premier League season with 12 goals. Unfortunately, he made his name on the bench at Kotoko.
He left the club after two seasons to join Entente Setif.
Signed on a free transfer after an unsuccessful spell in Armenia with Shirak FC, Kyere looked like a good purchase for the Reds.
The right-back came with a reputation of being a tough, strong defender. But he just didn’t show that at Kotoko. Kyere encountered a lot of issues notably alleging that
Kotoko played a match of convenience with AshantiGold in the 2017 season.
However, his inconsistency and lethargic performances eventually saw him fall out of favour with many fans and he eventually departed after finding his playing time limited.
Seen as one of the best talents out of the Ghana Premier League, he joined Kotoko from Medeama in 2012 and featured heavily in his first campaign, both at left and right side of midfield, he looked a good fit and initially impressed. But, midway through the campaign, his drop-off was momentous.
Mpong’s hopes of making an impact in Kumasi were hardly helped by a knee injury shortly after his arrival but even when fit, he did not look like he belonged at the highest level.
He left for Aduana Stars after four seasons in Kumasi, when really his talents should have seen the team shaped around him for many years more.