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Scout Report

Mahatma Otoo: Scout Report

Mahatma Osumanu Otoo is Ghanaian footballer who presently plays for Ghana Premier League giants ‘Glorious’ Accra Hearts of Oak. Currently Mahatma Otoo is regarded as one of the hottest prospects in the Ghanaian League. He can be at the helm of all the attacking positions: left forward, centre of attack (main striker) right forward and as an attacking midfielder. It’s always a delight to watch his outstanding technical ability.

Otoo celebrating for Ghana


Mahatma Otoo was born in Mamprobi, a suburb of Ghana’s capital Accra. It didn’t take too long for him to realize the talent he possesses and started playing for a youth side, Ken Harrison Babes in his community, at the age of ten. It was amazing the kind of player he was at this tender age; he commanded respect from his colleagues as well as his seniors with an amazing performance anytime he plays.

Soccer Wiki Profile

A bright start to his football world, he grabbed a lot of awards during his play with Ken Harrison Babes. He won the golden boot in the Accra Metro and the Regional under-12 championships in the 2003/04 season, his club went on to win sliver in National Juvenile league the same year. In the 2004/05 season he replicated what he did the previous season winning the Golden boot once again, this time round in upper division, the Accra Metro Juvenile Under–14 and was adjudged the overall Best Player.

Deservedly, he was one of the very few Ghanaian youth players who had the honour of playing at the Under-14 and joining the Under-17 in the second match on the same day. Due to his immense power and stamina, he was promoted to the Under-17 side and in the 2005/06 season, he was the second top scorer in the Accra Metro Juvenile League (Under-17). With his outstanding performance in the 2006/07 season, young Mahatma Otoo once again won the golden boot in the Accra Juvenile League (Under-17) to complete his youth football whiles he was a teenager.

Mahatma Otoo commenced his professional football career when he was very young. As a teenager, he was already featuring in Ghana’s second tier league. He signed his first professional football agreement/contract with Sporting (Saint) Mirren in 2007 when he was just 16 and made an instant impact in the team.

Sporting (Saint) Mirren was in the lower division (division one) when he joined them in the 2007/08 season. His key striking abilities and excellent performance qualified Sporting (Saint) Mirren to the Premiership for the first time in the club’s history. He was the club’s top scorer and second top scorer in the National Division One league.

Sporting (Saint) Mirren featuring in the top flight league in the country was the right moment for the young striker to make his mark even though some top scouts knew him already. It was quite amazing how he stormed the league, rising to prominence.

Mahatma Otoo was not grabbing the goals for his team, and was deployed to another attacking role as the second striker – playing behind the main striker and he did excellent there. He won five ‘Man of the Match’ awards and got 5 goals from 15 games for his club. His outstanding performance won him the Discovery Player of the year 2008/09 award at the age 17. In his two year stay with Sporting (Saint) Mirren he bagged 27 goals in his 50 appearances for the team.

In 2009 Mahatma Otoo signed a-three-year deal with arguably the best club in Ghana, Accra Hearts of Oak for an undisclosed fee. It was a dream come true for the young striker who had a lot of role models at the club. Playing his second season in the league with a bigger club, Otoo bagged in 10 goals and was the second leading scorer in Hearts. To climax an excellent season, he was awarded the Footballer of the Year (Overall Best Player) award in the 2009/10 season.

His continued impressive and progressive form led him out of the country where he signed for Tunisian giants Esperance du Tunis on loan for a fee of €500,000 for the 2010/11 campaign.  He joined the Tunisian giants for the remainder of their CAF Champions League campaign that year. They eventually finished as runners-up in the continents biggest club tournament. He returned to Ghana in January 2011 from his loan spell.

Coming back from what was known as a successful spell for Esperance du Tunis, Otoo broke into the first team of Hearts of Oak once again and ended the season as the clubs highest scorer with 13 goals in all competitions, 10 in the league and 3 in the FA Cup.

This season Mahatma Otoo has established himself as the backbone of Hearts of Oak. The team play around him and according to his strength. Arguably he’s the focal point of the team and has already scored 11 goals in the league and 2 in the FA Cup. The league has eight more games to go and Hearts of Oak are in the Quarter finals of the MTN FA Cup too, so definitely his tally will rise when these games unfold.

Performing on international stage, he has featured in all the generational groups for the country except the Black Stars proper. Realising his potentials at his tender age, the technical handlers of national Under-17 team invited him into the team and featured regularly. He made a successful entry into the Under-20 side and was immediately appointed as the captain. He led his squad to qualify for the 2011 African Youth Championships in South Africa. With his progressive athleticism, he was promoted to the national Under-23 team and won Gold in the All African Games in Mozambique (Maputo) 2011. He was the tournament’s top scorer. He was one of the two teenagers to join the Local Black Stars during the Championships of African Nations (CHAN) qualifying series in 2008. He had his first senior appearance when he joined against Argentina in Buenos Aires (30th September, 2009). He made the 23-man squad to face Sudan in the World Cup qualifying series in March, 2013 but failed to make the final squad that won 4-0 in Kumasi.

Style, Strengths & Weaknesses

Mahatma Otoo is not very far from the top strikers in the world in terms of ability. Certainly he has the ability to get there. He may not be playing in the highest competitions in Africa but his abilities will take him out of Africa in the coming years.

He is industrious, hardworking with sharp reflexes and excellent aerial abilities. Captaining the youth side gave him a terrific leadership mentality. He has the ability to score out of nothing. He also possesses good pace with powerful accurate shots, athletic and physically strong.

He has good upper body strength, pace and is always looking for an opportunity to score. He’s well built and torments defenders with his tireless stamina.

He earned a nick name “Falcao” in the Ghanaian Premier League because of his clinical cutting edge skill. He is very good in the air and has no fear trying to score from any position, effort or even direct volleys.

As the saying goes ‘No one is perfect’, Otoo also has some weakness. A player of such calibre and age, could be a perfect tool for clubs when he gets there playing with the top guns with good facilities.  But often he attempts to strike the ball very hard, maybe instead of placing or curling the ball. He prefers power instead of precision. Final decision making is occasionally poor especially when he is one-on-one with a goalkeeper. That could have something to do with lack of confidence and weak composure.

Transfer Situation

The 21-year-old striker is very likely to leave Accra Hearts of Oak at the end of season for greener pastures. He is in the final year of his three year contract with the ‘Phobians’ and reports suggest he is not ready to ply his trade in the country again. He has rejected opportunities to renew his contract with Accra Hearts of Oak.

Mahatma Otoo has been linked with a move to number of clubs from Europe and Africa.

Local rivals Asante Kotoko has been reported monitoring the contract situation of Otoo and Hearts of Oak and will like to offer something lucrative.

Not long ago, it was reported in the English media that the striker has attracted the interest from English side Sunderland and are pricing him at around £700,000. But Accra Hearts of Oak have come out to deny the report stating no offer has come from Sunderland.

It is rumoured that French giants Olympique Lyonnais are interested in signing the young striker as well. They are reportedly negotiating terms with his agent before they officially approach the club. The French Ligue 1 has been a popular destination for young African starlets.

South African club Mamelodi Sundowns are the only club to officially have made an offer for Mahatma Otoo. Sundowns are not ready to disclose the transfer fee but are discussing terms with Hearts of Oak and the player’s agent. The South African Premiership is one of the most advanced domestic leagues in the region. But with potential European suitors, a move within the African continent may be a step sideways rather that forward for Mahatma.

This piece was written by Fredrick Gyan-Mante. Follow him on twitter @Freddie_GH

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