The unseemly use of Inaki Williams in Black Stars

Despite the Black Stars' struggles in the tournament, Inaki's dedication shone through as he declared, "I got back for a reason. Let's go"

Ghana’s forward, Inaki Williams, demonstrated his football prowess by scoring and assisting his brother Nico Williams against Barcelona, securing Athletic Bilbao’s spot in the Spanish Copa Del Rey semi-finals. 

This remarkable feat unfolded less than 48 hours after Inaki jetted off in a private plane following Ghana’s disappointing exit from AFCON 2023.

Despite the Black Stars’ struggles in the tournament, Inaki’s dedication shone through as he declared, “I got back for a reason. Let’s go!”

Ghana’s AFCON campaign saw them fail to secure a single victory in the group stage, relying on other results to potentially qualify for the last 16. However, Cameroon’s 3-2 win over The Gambia in the final of Group C confirmed Ghana’s elimination.

The Black Stars finished with two points in Group B, drawing 2-2 with both Egypt and Mozambique and suffering a 2-1 defeat by Cape Verde in their opener. Notably, Inaki Williams’ back pass against Egypt led to an equaliser in the 69th minute, contributing to the team’s struggles.

Inaki, who switched allegiances from Spain to Ghana in 2022, has made 17 appearances for the national team, including three at the AFCON. His debut goal against Madagascar in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers suggested a promising goal-scoring streak for the forward.

Despite an exceptional start to the season with Athletic Bilbao, scoring nine goals in 20 games and assisting four times, Inaki’s performance with the Black Stars has been underwhelming.

While Inaki has showcased durability, ending a streak of 251 consecutive La Liga appearances in January last year, his contrasting performance with the Black Stars raises questions about Ghana’s utilisation of his talents.

“Inaki is a good professional. If I tell him to play in central midfield or right back, he will play there. But he is a number nine. That is his main strength.” Hughton said this after Inaki’s first goal for Ghana against Madagascar.

Chris Hughton’s acknowledgment of Inaki as a number nine, coupled with the player being played out of position in six games, indicates a lack of positional clarity.

Inaki’s tactical awareness, ability to drift inside from the right, and ability to launch cross-field passes have not been fully integrated into Ghana’s strategy.

The forward’s strengths, including vertical movements into the opponent’s penalty area, sharp finishing, and counter-attacking abilities, were evident in the goal against Barcelona, as he was more advanced on the pitch, as seen in the pictures below. 


Inaki’s average positions against Barcelona on Sofascore

However, these attributes have not been effectively utilised in the Black Stars’ setup.In the AFCON 2023, Inaki’s role in the Black Stars’ structure limited his speed and impact. Lining up among the three attacking midfielders against Egypt, he spent more time in Ghana’s half, creating space for teammates.

Inaki’s average positions against Egypt on Sofascore

However, the back pass that led to an equaliser highlighted his isolation and the team’s struggle to incorporate him effectively. 

Despite Inaki’s ability to exploit free spaces and make runs behind the defense, his teammates’ failure to understand him and the team’s structure have hindered his contributions.
The potential displayed in the transition phase, where he excels at receiving long passes on the flanks, has been overlooked in the Black Stars’ setup.


In the provided pictures below, Inaki’s run behind the defense goes unnoticed by Jordan Ayew, exemplifying the disconnect in understanding his movements. 

Ghana’s next manager must address these challenges to unlock Inaki Williams’ full potential and improve overall team performance.

Story By: Princeton Wiredu

Asaase Radio 99.5 broadcasts on radio via 99.5 in Accra, 98.5 in Kumasi, 99.7 in Tamale, 100.3 in Cape Coast, and on our affiliates Bawku FM 101.5 in Bawku, Beats FM 99.9 in Bimbilla, Somua FM 89.9 in Gushegu, Stone City 90.7 in Ho, Mining City 89.5 in Tarkwa and Wale FM 106.9 in Walewale

Tune in to broadcasts online:, Sound Garden and TuneIn
Follow us on Twitter: @asaaseradio995
Live streaming on Also on YouTube: 
Join the conversation. Call: 020 000 9951 or 059 415 7777. Or WhatsApp: 020 000 0995.


Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected