Sporting CP’s Issahaku Fatawu looks set to be the next footballing star from Ghana. Want to learn more about the wonder kid?
Issahaku Fatawu: Ghana's Next Star
Issakahu Fatawu is one of the best young players in the world right now, attracting attention from across the European continent when he broke onto the scene in his native Ghana. He comes from a country that has a habit of creating brilliant players, including the likes of Abedi Pele, Michael Essien, and Sulley Muntari, amongst others.
Today we'll be looking at the origin of Issahaku Fatawu, how he's fared since moving to Portugal, and what the future holds for him at club and international levels. With the way Fatawu is progressing at such a young age, we’d put all soccer odds on him becoming one of Ghana’s most talented players of all time!
Who is Issahaku Fatawu?
As a Ghanaian professional footballer, Abdul Fatawu Issahaku excels as an attacking midfielder for Sporting CP and the Ghana national team. He has garnered a reputation as one of the finest young attacking midfielders in the world, poised for a breakthrough performance on the international stage. Fatawu's love for the sport dates back to his early years, and he possesses an exceptional sense of the game, which is evidenced by his outstanding vision.
The barren Northern terrain of Ghana is home to Tamale, the unofficial capital, which boasts a thriving sporting culture. Tamale is the third most populous city in Ghana, and it was here where Abedi Pele first rose to prominence in the 1980s, playing for Real Tamale United. On the city's outskirts stands the impressive Tamale Sports Stadium, which serves as a contemporary oasis in otherwise arid surroundings. It was within the backdrop of this incredible stadium that Fatawu Issahaku developed his passion for the sport and honed his skills.
Issahaku Fatawu’s Time in Ghana
At the age of fifteen in 2019, he started his career with Tamale-based club Steadfast FC in the Zone One of the Ghanaian Division One League, which is the country's second tier. During his first season at Steadfast FC, he quickly made a name for himself as one of the league's most talented players by scoring 8 goals and contributing 5 assists in just 13 matches before the league was postponed due to global health concerns.
In the following season, Issahaku improved even further, scoring 12 goals, earning 12 assists in 14 league matches, and being named the man of the match 8 times. In 2021, after winning the Africa U-20 Cup of Nations, Fatawu was rumored to be signing with top European teams, including Liverpool, Manchester United, and Bayer Leverkusen.
In October of the same year, he joined first-division side Dreams on loan until 2022, when he scored 6 goals in 7 games, showing that he could easily step up a level. He was also included in The Guardian's Next Generation 2021 list, where he was praised as "arguably the best African prospect of his generation."
Issahaku Fatawu’s Time in Portugal
In April 2022, Issahaku put to rest all transfer rumors by officially joining Sporting CP with a five-year contract and a 60 million euro release clause. He had been training with the club's U-23 side since February before he completed the signing. Because of his young age and the ongoing season, he could not be registered with the first team until the 2022-23 season began. During this time, he continued to train with the B team.
As the 2022-23 season approached, the young player was selected to participate in the first team's pre-season training and tour. He was involved in the team's preparation and even played in a pre-season match against Royale Union from Belgium. On August 7, 2022, he was named on the bench for the first match of the season and made his debut by entering the game as a substitute in the 80th minute, helping Sporting CP secure a 3-0 victory over Rio Ave.
The Future of Issahaku Fatawu
What the future holds for Issakahu is entirely up to him. There is no doubt over his talent and potential; whilst the Ghanain league isn't the strongest, he was one of the best players whilst still being so young. His move to Sporting CP came at the perfect time, allowing him to get some senior experience under his belt without the pressure of playing at the top level. Likewise, he could acclimate to life in Portugal without the pressure of playing a lot straight away.
While he's yet to really get off the mark for Sporting CP, he's only appeared a handful of times so far in the 22/23 season and has been a squad player at best, but that's due to his age and how well the team is playing. On the flip side, he has already established himself as a regular for the national team, playing 14 times when writing this article – he has even scored a goal, which is incredible considering his very young age.