Appiah to hand debut to Boateng, Wriedt
Bayern Munich’s reserve team striker, Kwasi Okyere Wriedt, and Levante forward, Emmanuel Okyere Boateng, are set to make their debut for Ghana’s Black Stars during their double-header friendlies against Japan and Iceland in the coming weeks.
The Stars are scheduled to engage the Blue Samurai of Japan and Iceland in pre-World Cup friendlies on May 30 and June 7 respectively, and Coach Kwasi Appiah has given the two young promising strikers the chance to prove themselves to Ghanaians.
Being handed such an audacious call-up to the high-profile Black Stars naturally came as a big surprise to Wriedt who revealed that he was speechless after receiving the invitation to play for Ghana.
However, a highly-placed source explained that the 23-year-old striker, born in Hamburg to Ghanaian parents, was being snapped by Coach Appiah mainly to deny Germany, who are already making overtures towards the boy, the chance to capture him for good.
“Initially, I was speechless." Wriedt told Bild. “I am very pleased to be able to play for my parents” homeland. I am making my family and friends proud. It’s the icing on the cake of an exciting year.”
Wriedt is currently Bayern's top scorer with 20 goals in their Regionalliga side, which will finish as runners-up to local rivals TSV Munich 1860.
He joined Bayern last summer for €500,000 from third division side Osnabruck and made his first-team debut as a substitute in the penalty shootout success against Leipzig in the DFB Pokal second round last October. He also made his Bundesliga debut as a substitute in the 2-1 defeat at Borussia Monchengladbach in November.
“Two weeks ago, national coach, Kwasi Appiah, contacted me for the first time and told me his plan for Ghana to have a new playing style with younger players and I should be a part of this," Wriedt said.
However, before leaving for international duty on May 20, Wriedt first has to play in Bayern’s final reserve team fixture of the season in Seligenporten on Saturday.
The 21-year-old Boateng, on the other hand, has been in consistent form for Levante in the Spanish La Liga and could be an asset to Kwasi Appiah’s new set-up.
The source said these are the two new additions to the Stars squad for the two friendlies, since Coach Appiah will not have the luxury to feature any 0f the US-based players, as well as well Europe-based players .
Clubs whose leagues are still in progress turned down the invitation to release their players simply because the dates of the two games fall outside the mandatory FIFA free days.
Having missed their fourth straight FIFA World Cup appearance in Russia 2018, both Japan and Iceland believe Ghana could provide them with the needed test for their respective African opponents in the World Cup.
Japan are drawn in Group H alongside Senegal, Colombia and Poland, while Iceland are in Group D with Nigeria, Argentina and Croatia.