In football history, it is the story of the victors which is glorified while that of the defeated is, at best, forgotten. Ghana is never bereft of talented footballers. Since the nascence of football, a lot of footballers have in a way or the other etched their names in the country’s football folklore. Names like Mohammed Polo, Ibrahim Sunday, Osei Kofi, Abedi Pele, Asamoah Gyan have all contributed their quota to the development of the game in the country.
Among the few wave of emerging talents highly tipped to take the world by storm, Wa All Stars’ Nicholas Mensah stands tall. The youngster’s fledgling displays already indicate he could one day attain such status.
As a child, the 20 year-old Cape Coast born was seen glued to the television set watching football, kicking imaginary balls in the living room, cheering himself as one of the thousands of imaginary supporters from the sidelines. Fast forward, kid’s play has become a reality, in a way that has superseded all dreams.
“I chose to be a footballer and thus have no option than to work hard if I am to achieve as an athlete.” He quipped. Mensah’s career has gone into hyper drive over the last 12 months, taking him to elite level and earning him a seat among the table of men. Nicholas Mensah may now be a household name as far as the Ghanaian Premier League is concerned but the journey didn’t start today. Having had playing stints with Pro Stars Football Academy, Tudu Mighty Jets- where his performances caught the eyes of several premiership clubs.
It’s easier to count the top Premier League clubs which weren’t interested in signing Nicholas Mensah in the summer of 2014, than those which tried to acquire him. However, the towering 20-year-old utility player had other plans: he rejected all possible moves and chose to join Wa All Stars. “I wanted a club that will believe in my ability and have my development at heart and Wa All Stars was that club that met these requirements.”
Nicholas Mensah was phenomenal in Wa All Stars’ league title triumph- featuring in 21 of the 30 matches played, winning 4 MVP awards and scoring a goal. Throughout the campaign, he efficiently and effectively executed all roles assigned him. Mensah has warmed himself into the hearts of many a Ghanaian football fan and pundits because of his artistic verve and the wherewithal to meet the exigencies of the modern game. He can play as a right-back, left-back, centre-back and as defensive midfielder.
Mensah knows exactly what he’s doing. Thanks to Wa All Stars, the young prodigy was once a member of the national U-20 team. His reading of the game is so good that he can anticipate situations before they escalate but, if he does get into danger, he can always rely on his long stride to get him out of trouble. Perhaps more importantly, he is a leader, the kind of player others look up to and improve upon their game to impress. With him in the side, Wa All Stars know that the other teammates will perform because he wouldn’t have it otherwise. It is, perhaps, one of the reasons why regardless of what changes are forced on Wa All Stars defensive back line, they always retain a fair degree of tightness.
Mensah is physically strong, pacey, extremely good in the air, but also possesses technical skills on the ground. His passing range is excellent, and he can regularly be found starting off Wa All Stars’ attacks. There is however a fear that Mensah’s scintillating form may attract an offer too good to refuse from major European clubs. In an interview with GhanaFans.com, Mensah insisted he is “100% committed” to the Wa All Stars cause, but offered a prophecy that the club had been dreading: “One day I’ll leave to play in another league,” he admitted. “Lots of people think the Bundesliga, Eredivise and Ligue 1 will suit my style but as a footballer I am ready for any challenge.” If any of the clubs in Europe are keeping their tabs on the utility player as reports suggest, Mensah’s words will offer encouraging signs but, given the 20-year-old’s supreme form, there are others watching too.
His temperament is outstanding, moreover, he plays with a maturity that belies his tender years. Improving all the time, with the right technical guidance and tutelage, Mensah could go on to become one of the world leading footballers and etch his name in football’s folklore.