Yeboah’s big move and striker depth

The Brisbane Roar production line has another graduate. Following on from the likes of Tommy Oar, Adam Sarota, Michael Zullo, Luke DeVere Kosta Barbarouses and Ben Halloran, Kwame Yeboah is set for a transfer to Borussia Monchengladbach in January. The 19 year old who has made just the three A-Leagues starts to date -11 appearances- for a return of two goals.

From Kwame’s point of view this is a fantastic move for him, and from his perspective was no doubt impossible to turn down. It’s not every day that a

Germany bound (Bradley Kanaris - Getty Images AsiaPac)

Germany bound (Bradley Kanaris – Getty Images AsiaPac)

stable club with a good reputation in one of Europe’s better leagues where player development is a big goal of all clubs. Im a bit confused by all of the criticism of the move actually, as for mine it’s a good move for him even if he hasn’t played much first team football to date. His progression from youth league to A-League and his influence over the game has improved significantly in only a matter of weeks and that should continue to happen.

One of the criticisms I read a fair bit today was that he wouldn’t automatically be in the first team for Monchengladbach but that might actually be a good thing. Starting off in either the reserves/II team or the u/20 side would actually be a good thing as it would remove the immediate pressure to produce. There are also unconfirmed reports emerging that he may be returned to Brisbane until the end of the current A-League season, before linking up with his new teammates for pre-season training in July. The other thing is it’s not like he took the money on offer in Asia like Luke DeVere, Brendan Hamill and Bernie Ibini opted for, he’s moving to a league where youth development is paramount.

As for the striker depth, it puts Brisbane back to square one as Yeboah had cemented that role in the squad. In house candidates may include the versatile Dimitri Petratos, Henrique and when fit Kofi Danning, along with youth team strikers Brandon Borrello who has A-League experience and Samuel Altundag who has had a stint with Perugia in Italy and has scored 3 goals in the past 3 youth games. It would seem that Borrello is going to get the first chance at filling the void in the short term, however it would probably be for the best if a more experienced option was brought in to provide competition to Berisha. As mentioned above there were some murmurs late this afternoon that Yeboah may be loaned back to Brisbane for the remainder of the season and if true that would be the best case scenario for all parties.

Long term and in relation to Berisha, it doesn’t really change a great deal for Brisbane, the only difference is that Yeboah stepping into the role as a regular starter is off the table. It also makes it essential to keep Berisha for the remainder of the season –at least-, but that was already the case and he wasn’t going anywhere in January anyway.

It’s a great move for Kwame, and another sign that the Brisbane Roar production line continues to produce footballers who attract the interest of clubs in some of Europe’s premiere leagues. It will hurt Brisbane in the shot term, however the long term benefits are far greater with the clubs reputation of being able to develop talent before on-selling it to top European clubs further enhanced. As Ken Stead said in the press release today ‘we will never stand in the way of young players moving to a higher level to further their careers’. That is, and hopefully will always be a big part of the Brisbane Roar way.

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