Should we be excited about Gabriel Kyeremateng?
In case you missed it, Gabriel Kyeremateng put on a show in Stoke’s U23 match against Leeds on Tuesday evening. The 21 year-old forward scored all four goals in Stoke’s 4-0 rout of the newly promoted side. Taking into account that Benik Afobe might be on his way out, and Mame Biram Diouf left this club this summer, can we expect to see Kyeremateng with the main squad anytime soon?
Gabriel Kyeremateng joined Stoke in 2018 on a free transfer form Borussia Dortmund. Kyeremateng trained with Dortmund as a youth player, but ultimately was not signed to longer deal for the German club. Since coming over to Stoke, Kyeremateng has appeared in 29 matches (19 starts) and has recorded 14 goals for the U23s. Kyeremateng has seen a jump in playing time since the emergence of Tyrese Campbell with the main squad and should continue to get big minuted for the U23s.
First squad talent?
If you just catch the highlights from Tuesday you can get an idea of the kind of player Kyeremateng is. He has real pace and can get onto balls that get through a back line. He puts pressure on sides that play offside traps, and he can finish in variety of ways that show his overall skill – all of this sounds great. The real issue for Kyeremateng will be consistency and elevating play to tougher competition. He simply hasn’t been tested at higher levels consistently and you have to hope he gets a shot this season while he is in form.
That being said, it’s really not hard to envision him getting a shot with the first team sooner than later, especially if Stoke are running with formations that bring in two forwards as they did in their opener against Millwall. All it will take is an extended run of form for Kyeremateng, and a drought or injury to one of our current forwards and you have to think he is the next call up. My prediction – if O’Neill runs with a 3-5-2 consistently, we will see Kyeremateng with the first team at some point this season. While there is no doubt Stoke have a crowded forward group, having young players who are filling the net is never a bad problem.