Abdul Fatawu’s career is already in full swing despite being just 19 – he’s a full international, capped 14 times for Ghana, including at a FIFA World Cup, while also playing in the UEFA Champions League with Sporting Lisbon.
The attacking midfielder joined Leicester City this week on a season-long loan, hoping to add firepower to Enzo Maresca’s promotion charge at King Power Stadium.
Born in the northern city of Tamale in Ghana in 2004, he emerged through the Tamale Utrecht Academy in his hometown, before starting his professional career with another local club, Steadfast F.C.
It was a speedy start to life with Steadfast too, as Fatawu netted eight goals and laid on five assists in just 13 matches before the 2019/20 season was curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Nevertheless, when football returned in 2021/22, the youngster shone again, with 12 goals in 14 appearances in Ghana’s Access Bank Division One League. Eight of those performances, on the other hand, ended up with Fatawu taking home the Man of the Match award.
Despite interest from Europe, a loan move to Ghanian side Dreams F.C. enabled him to continue earning a reputation with another six goals in seven games. It was becoming clear that Fatawu belonged at a higher level, but his destination was unclear.
That question was answered in 2022 when Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon made their move. Initially used in the Primeira Liga side’s Under-23s squad, Fatawu has started to settle in a new country and a new continent over the past year.
Albeit limited to substitute appearances, Fatawu has UEFA Champions League experience under his belt too – playing in a 2-0 defeat by Marseille and a 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur last season. Lisbon eventually found themselves in the UEFA Europa League and another cameo outing in a 2-2 draw with English side Arsenal followed in March.
That encounter with the Gunners came after a brief but nonetheless huge moment for Fatawu, who came off the bench late on for Ghana at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar last December, losing out 2-0 to Uruguay in the group stage. He also helped his country win the U20 Africa Cup of Nations in 2021, named as the competition’s best player at the end.
Fatawu’s career is just getting started, but there’s so much to be excited about for the Ghanian forward. Helping Leicester City return to the Premier League is his next assignment.