A Bulky On Defense – Ghanaian Eligible Rising Star: Derek Boakiye Osei by Ron Dor
Throughout the years, Ghana has established itself as an elite football talent producer. Thanks to well-known academies such as West African Football Academy (also known as WAFA) and Right To Dream, the beautiful country has become a Wonderland for scouts and agents. Lately, we’ve been able to see a few players making it to Europe, with the likes of Lawrence Agyekum (RB Salzburg) and Abdul Fatawu Issahaku (Sporting CP).
But, it’s hard to ignore the fact that most of Ghanaian notable talents are either midfielders or attackers. In the AFCON, we could see that the country needs quality defenders, which is not very surprising considering that very few Ghanaian defenders make it to Europe.
Today, I would like to show you an extremely interesting left-footed centre-back who plays for an elite German club: Derek Boakiye Osei.
Derek was born on December 3rd, 2006, and he’s an academy product of Bundesliga Club Eintracht Frankfurt. At the age of 13, he was already playing for the U-16. In July 2021, because of his enormous talent and physique, it was decided to promote the 14- year-old talent to the U-17.
This season, Derek started in 13 out 15 matches for Eintracht U-17, managing to score 2 goals thanks to his aerial power. The manager is absolutely delighted with his progress, and the players have already been used to praise him on a weekly basis.
Derek’s most significant attribute is his strength. At the age of 15, he’s very advanced physically and dominates the own third, literally owns the box. Although the players are 2-3 years older than him, his superiority is inevitable.
Ground duels, aerial duels, Derek dominates them all. Especially in the air, he uses his power to provide clearances and even goals, as mentioned earlier. His anticipation is great, he uses it cleverly to predict players’ movements and to time his tackles. The combination of skill and thinking is beautiful, and he’s proven himself as the best player of Eintracht U-17 this season.
Also, it’s important to mention that Derek has the potential to become a true leader. On the pitch, he doesn’t seem to be the youngest player or the shyest, it’s exactly the opposite. He’s a true leader for the team, very talkative and gives instructions to his teammates during the game. As for his mentality, another thing that I like about him is the professionalism, as he doesn’t have any social media accounts and is very focused on his football career.
Moreover, Derek is well suited to the modern type of centre-backs. Many bulky defenders find it difficult to be effective in opposition counter attacks, struggling with the pace and acceleration, but our lad is different. Derek is very fast for a player of his style, showing an excellent acceleration and excelling a high athleticism.
By now, I’ve talked about Derek Boakiye Osei’s points for conservation, so now I’ll show his points for improvement.
Well, the thing with Derek is his technique. He has the vision to find his teammates in wide and further areas of the pitch, but his long passing isn’t accurate enough. As such, he struggles with controlling the ball and struggles even with delivering short passes. As a result, he prefers to go for the “safe” passes, especially under pressing, passing the ball sideways to the closest player.
An optional way to solve this issue is playing him in the midfield for a while, so he’ll have to touch the ball more often and to show his on-the-ball abilities. Unfortunately, Eintracht Frankfurt U-17 is very close to relegation to Bundesliga B, so such a risk at this critical stage of the season is unlikely to happen. Right now, the team is needing its best player in his best position.
To sum up, I’m amazed by Derek Boakiye Osei. When I watched for the first time, it felt like that I had a kind of an “A-ha” moment, like I saw that special something. The specialty of his profile his clear: left-footed, fast, athletic, physical, top mentality, potential to become a leader, and a hard worker. Still, there’s a long way to go, as improving his technique should be his priority. If he doesn’t do that, clubs won’t count on him in the future as he could lose the ball in critical situations.
I’m sure about one thing: you must pay attention to Derek Boakiye Osei.