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Wakaso vows to improve discipline after Alaves switch

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Ghana midfielder Mubarak Wakaso has said he is working on the rough edges to his game after sealing a three-year contract with La Liga side Deportivo Alaves.

The 26-year-old joined Alaves earlier this week — his 10th club since moving to Europe in 2008 — after leaving Panathinaikos.

While the versatile midfielder has won many admirers with his dynamism, technical qualities and all-action approach, he has picked up 86 yellow cards and six red cards over the last nine years.

“I am not worried and shouldn’t be worried,” he told KweséESPN when asked about his disciplinary record. “The nature of my game is chiefly responsible for that, which means sometimes I get tackles wrong.

“I am not happy to have it of course and I am doing something about it, but I can’t let that consume me because then it will unduly affect my game.”

Wakaso hopes that his new destination will provide him with a stable environment in which to settle down, but while his three-year deal hints at a long stay, his nomadic career to date suggests otherwise.

Since leaving Espanyol in 2012, he has played for six clubs across four leagues, including spells in Russia with Rubin Kazan and in Scotland on loan at Celtic.

Last season, he joined Granada from Panathinaikos, but could not help Los Carmenes evade relegation.

“Normally clubs will say anything to sign you, but I refuse to be where I am unhappy and stressed. If I am unhappy I simply find somewhere I will be happier.”

The Ghana international has hopes that, in Alaves, he’s finally found a destination where he can settle.

“I chose them because they are a good team with good young players,” he continued. “After last season’s run to the Copa del Rey finals, there is a lot of attention on them too which is good.”

Wakaso’s affection for Spanish football is also one of the reasons he has opted to stay in La Liga.

He first joined Elche as a teenager from Ghanaian giants Ashanti Gold in 2008, and has gone on to play for four other Spanish sides, including Villarreal.

“I know everything about Spanish football so it makes this kind of decision easy. I like the fact that there is a lot of space, that there are so many quality players.

“It is a calm league where the football moves more than the players.”

Wakaso concluded by explaining that he hopes a move to Alaves will see him return to the national side, having been overlooked by new boss Kwese Appiah after he replaced Avram Grant following the African Cup of Nations.

“I definitely still want to play for the Black Stars but if I don’t have a club and doing well, there will be no Black Stars for me. I need to focus on settling here first and do well.”

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