The second transfer window for the Ghanaian leagues is set to close on 23:59 GMT on Friday with clubs making efforts to get deals over the line this year.
Transfer windows around Europe has also ended with astronomical figures spent in January. According to FIFA’s Transfer Snapshot, a whopping $1.57 billion has already been spent from 4,387 transfers in 2023, a new record.
With 11 months left to the end of the year, huge values are expected in transfer fees across the globe.
But in this case, our year in review is 2022. Ghanaian transfers abroad averaged a shocking figure of just over $33,000 per player (men). How did this happen?
Where Ghana ranked in transfers last year
Last year, 183 different nationalities were represented by at least one professional men’s player who joined another team abroad.
20,209 international transfers were made with 17,291 players involved. But the vast majority of the transfers (14,448) did not involve a transfer fee whilst 2843 players (16.4%) commanded transfer fees.
Despite the relatively low percentage of players with transfer fees, clubs spent $6.50 billion in total, a hefty sum.
Brazilian players accounted for the highest in sales figure ($843.2 million) and number of sales 2061 players sold whilst Ghanaian players made up just $17.4 million (42nd) despite selling 515 players internationally, ranking eighth for number of players sold.
GRAPH: TOTAL INTERNATIONAL SALES IN 2022
This means that a Ghanaian player averaged $33,786 in sales for the year 2022. The country is behind Nigeria ($143,724) and Ivory Coast ($89,485) in average sales for last year.
It is interesting to note that Ivorian club Asec Mimosas shipped 21 players abroad last year, the highest number of sales conducted by a CAF member. No Ghanaian club made the top ten, which indicates that locally, individual clubs might have struggled to send their talents abroad.
This could also mean that more Ghanaians outside Ghana switched clubs during the year in review.
Matching up against expensive transfers
Since moving to PSG in 2017 for €222 million ($263 million), Neymar remains the most expensive football transfer of all time according to Forbes.
Using 2022 average for Ghanaian player transfers, about 7784 Ghanaians have to be sold to afford the Neymar fee.
That’s too high. Let’s water it down a bit. How about Enzo Fernandez? He was bought for $132 million by Chelsea on deadline day in 2023, a British record for a transfer.
About 3,906 Ghanaian player sales will match Enzo’s figure. Still too high? That’s the situation. It will remain high as players from Ghana are most often than not sold for peanuts.
Some of the outliers are Thomas Partey to Arsenal for €50 million in 2020 and Kamaldeen Sulemana to Southampton this year for €25 million. It doesn’t happen often.
Any signs of this changing?
Any form of change will definitely take time. The Ghana Premier League is deemed subpar among the leagues in the world.
Hence, clubs would find it difficult making a good case for players to be sold for huge fees abroad. Also, the players usually sent away are young and raw.
READ ALSO: Ghana can take on FIFA if… – Foh-Amoaning
A serious rebrand of the local league and better performances in continental competitions are paramount.
In the case of Ghanaians in Europe, most of them do not play in the top five leagues and the few that play there do not necessarily play starring roles, making sales for huge fees difficult.
The young core of the Black Stars like Mohammed Kudus and Kamaldeen Sulemana may yet break Thomas Partey’s barrier of €50 million in the future.
But it will all depend on their development and performance.