Scouting report: Blues target Afriyie Acquah v Bologna
With Afriyie Acquah set to join Birmingham City for a club-record €9m fee, I thought that tonight would be the perfect opportunity to see him in action and analyse his performance.
The 25-year-old played the full 90 minutes as Torino drew 1-1 away at Bologna in Serie A.
I kept a very close eye on Acquah throughout the whole game and I have to say, he seriously impressed me.
I thought the potential new Blues signing was the best player on the pitch and I can see exactly why Harry Redknapp wants to bring him in.
Despite being the away side, Torino controlled the majority of the game and it was mostly down to the influence of Acquah. He sat in a defensive midfield position and made everything look so easy.
This was the first time I'd seen the Ghanaian play and I expected him to be an athletic, pacy and strong player in the middle of the pitch - he was just that, and even more.
His technical ability was outstanding and I didn't see him lose the ball once - in fact, he absolutely oozed class on the ball. He kept things simple without wasting a pass as he kept his side ticking along.
Acquah rarely left his middle third of the pitch but he seemed to be everywhere. He was the catalyst for every Torino attack - He finished the match with a 93% passing accuracy from 82 attempted passes which was the best on his team.
From the bits that I expected from him, he excelled at. I'd heard that he had an extreme burst of pace and that proved to be the case. He breezed past opponents and most of the time, he was quicker to the ball as he nipped in on numerous occasions.
He also has the strength to match. A couple of times, he took it upon himself to run with the ball at his feet and had the speed and strength to brush off the attempts of a Bologna tackle.
If any of us were wondering why we'd be spending such a huge sum on a player in his position, it's clear to see why.
Acquah is a class above what we currently have. I suppose it would just be a case of how he'd adapt to the Championship as the Serie A is a much slower league when teams are in possession of the ball.
If Blues get this deal over the line then we`ll have a top player on our hands and it would represent a serious bit of business. The only question I have to ask, is why Torino would allow him to leave and why he'd want to join us!
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