4 dribbles: Spurs-linked teenage sensation Godfrey Donsah impresses against top side

Ghana Flags

Godfred Donsah faced one of the toughest opponents in Serie A in Roma on Sunday.

Heading into the season, Godfred Donsah was an unknown quantity. The Ghanaian arrived in Italy in January of 2012 to join the Palermo youth set-up, but wouldn’t stay too long.

In the summer of 2013 the Rosanero passed the teenage midfielder on to Hellas Verona, where Donsah would be a regular for the Primavera side, making 21 appearances.

Just once would he get on the pitch for the first team, handed 22 minutes by Gialloblu boss Andrea Mandorlini in a 2-1 victory over Atalanta in April of last year.

It wouldn’t be enough to convince Verona, even at a time when several stars had been lost to transfers – especially with the offer that would come in.

Cagliari saw fit to come forward with a significant €2.5 million bid, per Transfermarkt. Considering that Donsah had made just one senior showing, the Isolani were taking something of a gamble.

Hellas Verona happily accepted. Still just a raw 18-year-old, there were no guarantees Cagliari would get a significant return on their investment.

At the time, renowned attack-master Zdenek Zeman was the man at the helm for Cagliari. Boasting a reputation for developing youngsters, it looked as if Donsah would at the very least get his chances.

Instead, the Ghanaian started just once in Zeman’s 16 games in charge. With Cagliari in 18th place, the Czech coach was dismissed in December, replaced by Gianfranco Zola.

Since, Donsah has become a key man for Cagliari. Five times in a row he has started in Serie A under Zola’s guidance, and his rise hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Late in January Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio reported that Tottenham Hotspur had enquired after the youngster, registering “serious” interest in him.

The North London side ultimately chose not to make a concrete move for Donsah in January, but it appears are keeping a keen eye on him for the future.

On Sunday Donsah was in Zola’s starting eleven as Cagliari took on second place Roma, a formidable opponent even with the Giallorossi in less-than-stellar form.

Donsah held his own. Battling in midfield with the likes of Miralem Pjanic, Radja Nainggolan and Seydou Keita, the Ghanaian gave a good account of himself.

He showed poise in completing a game-high four dribbles, completing 80% of his passes, creating a chance and adding an interception.

Most impressive was Donsah’s work rate. Cagliari made life tough for Roma on the day, harassing them on the ball and limiting the time Serie A’s possession leaders had to make decisions.

Now with a run of games under his belt, it’s clear that Donsah isn’t short on confidence, and doesn’t back away from opponents due to their stature.

At this point, however, it’s questionable whether he’d be ready to hop into the mix at Spurs. Donsah still needs experience, as it must be remembered he is just 18, with 14 top flight appearances to his name.

For all his good work against Roma, Donsah was guilty of losing possession five times, the most of any Cagliari player. Experience will help rid his game of these mistakes, which a more mature player wouldn’t be inclined to make.

Spurs would do well to keep tabs on Donsah as he continues to progress, as he certainly has plenty of promise and has already rewarded Cagliari’s for their faith in him.

The Ghanaian is one for the future rather than the now at White Hart Lane, and Tottenham’s interest can be firmed up when the time is right.

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch