20 Midfielder Twente Ghana
2014 has been...
Not so good. A graduate of Ghana’s Golden Boot Academy, Eghan moved to Europe aged 15 to play for IFK Klagshamn in the fourth tier of Swedish football. Monitored closely by Malmo, Eghan made the leap from the Södra Götaland to the Eredivisie in 2012 and was given a top flight debut by interim boss Michel Jansen following Steve McLaren’s ill-fated second spell with The Tukkers.
Afforded a first start by new coach Alfred Schreuder in the second round of Eredivisie matches last season, Eghan clicked into gear very quickly. Decisive throughout, he played extremely well as a Dusan Tadic inspired Twente put Feyernoord to the sword in a 4-1 win. Better was to follow as Eghan again sparkled alongside Kyle Ebicilio and Felipe Gutierrez when Utrecht were overrun 6-0, with the young Ghanaian laying on goal number three for Luc Castaignos.
Eghan’s - and Twente’s - good form showed little sign of receding. With the midfield trio providing a strong platform for Quincey Promes and Tadic to feed Castaignos, the Enschede cub looked a good bet for the title. Outstanding in victories over Groningen and NAC Breda, Eghan was rarely utilised for more than an hour in matches with Schreuder handling the youngster sensibly.
Despite an outstanding run, in which the club would only lose three times in 26 matches, Twente were unable to finish off several sides and lacked the true killer punches that Ajax were able to land as they rose to claim yet another title. After impressing in the early part of the campaign, young Eghan began to fade noticeably as the season wore on. A willing runner throughout, injuries began to kick in and by April Eghan was well and truly wiped out as Twente wrapped up the Eredivisie season in third place.
The summer meant, as it often does, a revised playing roster at Twente as several star names moved on. While Ebicilio and Gutierrez remained as the engine room, Tadic and Promes departed and attacking options needed to come from elsewhere. The talented Youness Mokhtar and tricky Mexican youngster Jesús Corona are beginning to find some form, but it was Twente’s recruitment of Heerenveen starlet Hakim Ziyech which has really compromised Eghan’s immediate future.
Sent back to play for Twente’s Under-21 team this time around, Eghan has looked a shadow of the player that burst on to the scene early last season. More significantly, a recent shoulder injury has curtailed progress and may well keep Eghan out of action until mid-2015.
Things aren’t looking good. The three players that Twente drafted into the mix this summer are beginning to look as if they will succeed after a period of transition. All have ability, but it is the exciting Ziyech that could really begin to stand out.
Ziyech already looks a more potent, and considerably more forceful operator than the slightly built Eghan. Considering how badly he has fallen away in the last twelve months, the one thing Eghan could have done without was an injury, but that’s what’s happened. At this stage of his development, he really needs to be playing regularly to fully get to grips with a physically demanding game, but we’re unlikely to see a fully match fit Eghan until well into next year. By that time, he may very well already be surplus to requirements.
Nippy, ridiculously quick to turn and constantly moving, Eghan could very easily become another Raheem Sterling, there are certainly similarities in his game. It’s not unusual for a youngster to lose a season, but it’s the ability to seize back the initiative that’s important. We’d hoped to be writing this review with a recommendation that end product is all that needs to be worked upon, but that might be a lot further down the line now. The future is unclear.
If he does return to the Twente first team next year, Eghan will need to have bulked up and will have to arrive hungry. His place in the side has been lost and if he is to avoid being another ‘could have been’ he must work hard.
"Injuries hampered the breakthrough of Eghan at FC Twente, but the youngster is looking to bounce back and has showed promising signs in recent performances." - Michiel Jongsma
"Last season Shadrach Eghan won 4 penalties in the Eredivisie, more than any other player." - OptaJoe
E A poor year capped by an awful injury.