They say the best comes from the West, and Raymond Asante Anokye from Bogoso is positioning himself in that category as one of the best youngsters to keep an eye on for the future.
Skilful, pacey, daring, and with an eye for goal, the 19-year-old Ghanaian is one for the future, and an eye must be kept on him.
To give you a better picture of who Raymond Anokye is, just picture Vinicius Jr. and you’ll get a good idea of who the Ghanaian youngster is and the sort of potential he has.
He is one of the players who have shown immense talent this season in the Italian Primavera 2, a league in which his compatriot Felix Afena-Gyan once shone and earned a big step into AS Roma’s first team under José Mourinho.
In terms of play, Raymond Asante is a completely different player profile-wise from Afena-Gyan, who now plays for Cremonese, but they both share one trait: they know how to find the back of the net.
With 12 goals in 14 games, complemented by four assists so far this season, Raymond is poised to break into Udinese’s first team under the guidance of Andrea Sottil.
His goal tally so far this season is only bettered by Luis Buzi of Südtirol Primavera, who has 16 goals, and another striker, David Stückler, who features for Cremonese Primavera.
After two impressive seasons with Young Apostles FC in the Division One League, Raymond Asante made the big jump to Italy, joining Serie A side, Udinese in 2022.
However, the journey did not start at Young Apostles; he was first scouted to the Sunyani-based club after dazzling in the very first edition of the Baby Jet U-16 tournament and was bought from Scores Academy, a team based in Pokuase – a place he has since made his home and now is knocking on the doors of the first team.
Raymond strikes me as a level-headed lad who is appreciative of where he is but does not lose sight of where he wants to be.
“All thanks to God. I am grateful for the miracle to be where I am. It has not been easy, but we have put in the work and God is rewarding me,” he said. “Making the jump from Young Apostles has not been easy. The Division One League in itself is not easy. There is a lot of chaos and violence, and to be able to play there and thrive, it shows that you are good and here I am,” he added.
Just like the goal hunter from Duayaw Nkwanta, Emmanuel Yeboah, the youngster from Udinese is part of the many players to be scouted, mentored, and groomed by the able Samuel Anim Addo, the man who had a pivotal role in the life of Asamoah Gyan.
For him, joining a club like Udinese two years ago was the best step for his career, and he is relishing his chances.
Just like any other foreigner, settling in has not been easy, and for him, his greatest challenge has been the language, but with time, he is catching up with the Italian language and now speaks a bit of it.
For him, living in Udine is not difficult, but since the only language spoken there is Italian, it makes things a tad harder.
Playing in the Primavera, according to Raymond Anokye, is not easy, but he is taking it one step at a time and pacing himself in the system his youth coaches want him to play and then grow in the team.
The 19-year-old aims to be one of the best forwards in the history of football, and at the heart of it, he wants to represent his country at the highest level.
With the path Raymond Anokye is moving on, it’s just a matter of time before he announces himself big time on the global stage.