Former Ghana goalkeeper, George Owu has endorsed Abdul Manaf Nurudeen as well positioned to be the first-choice goalkeeper for the Black Stars at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
KAS Eupen goalkeeper, Manaf Nurudeen and Asante Kotoko goalkeeper, Danlad Ibrahim featured in Otto Addo’s final 26-man squad for the Mundial after Joseph Wollacot and Richard Ofori were ruled out of the tournament due to injuries.
This development has prompted discussion on who becomes Ghana’s shot-stopper at the World Cup as the West African country prepares to impress at the global showpiece.
While some claim, Lawrence Ati-Zigi should be the first choice due to experience, others have backed Manaf Nurudeen to man the post based on his exploits during the Kirin tournament in Japan.
Manaf saved three penalties during the shootouts in the 3rd place playoff game between Ghana and Chile in the Kirin Cup friendlies in June 2022.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Kumasi-based Nhyira FM, former goalkeeper of the Black Stars, George Owu, who was part of Ghana’s debut campaign at the World Cup in Germany 2006 backed Nurudeen to be chosen as Ghana’s number one.
“It’s unfortunate that Richard Ofori and Joseph Wollacot will miss out [of the World Cup] because they have the experience.
“Danlad is a young goalkeeper who has been in the youth sides, the local Black Stars but he needs to be monitored for some time to learn more.
“But if you look at the other two goalkeepers [Manaf & Ati Zigi], I think Manaf can do it because when given the opportunity in Japan, he proved it and Ati Zigi has been a bit on and off.
“I think he [Manaf Nurudeen] built his confidence at the Kirin tournament and the players and the coaches had trust in him as well.
“Though he was on a standby, if he’s back in the team now, why can’t he keep the post for Ghana?” He asked.
Ghana’s first game at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in group H is against Portugal on November 24, 2022.