Reports out of Ghana have New York Red Bulls preparing to sign forward Samuel Tetteh from sister club Red Bull Salzburg of the Austrian Bundesliga.
According to an exclusive report from SPORTSworldGhana.com, Tetteh is joining the Red Bulls “to sign a three-year deal.” The story was confirmed as well by Joy Sports. The 24-year old Ghana senior international has been on loan with fellow Austrian first division club LASK Linz since January of 2018 and was set to become a free agent. Salzburg has reportedly still been negotiating a new contract with the player.
Tetteh began his career in the Ghana Premier League with West African Football Academy, a program founded by Dutch club Feyernoord Rotterdam which took over the facilities of the dissolved Red Bull Ghana. He moved to Liefering (Red Bull Salzburg’s reserve side) in 2016 and scored 12 goals in 26 appearances across 18 months. However, Tetteh suffered a meniscus injury in 2017, which resulted in several months of rehabilitation. After not breaking through in the first team, he was loaned to LASK. He scored 15 goals in 66 matches and contributed to the club’s run to the Round of 16 in the most recent Europa League. The Accra native returned to Salzburg in July following the completion of his loan.
Tetteh plays primarily as a striker, a position of need for the Red Bulls, but has mainly lined up at winger for LASK. He has earned eight caps with the Ghana national team, making his international debut in 2015 against Congo. He possesses a delicate first touch and has a habit of corralling the ball in the box. Some would chide strikers for not shooting as quickly as possible, but he has the ability to control his body, shielding away attackers and putting himself in a better position to score. He also makes runs behind the back line and has a habit of finding space in the box, the latter a welcome quality as teams combat the high pressing Red Bulls by parking the bus. In addition to seven goals last season, Tetteh assisted on seven more, demonstrating the necessary versatility to combine with a strike partner and thrive in a 4-2-2-2 formation.
The reported acquisition of firepower up top comes after Chris Armas’ team had a particularly anemic performance at the MLS is Back Tournament, scoring one goal in three matches. The New York outfit has a complicated history with “synergy” loan acquisitions from its sister clubs in Salzburg and Leipzig. Most have failed to make a significant impact or adjust to Major League Soccer, going all the way from the dismal Ernst Öbster to the more recent confusing loans of strikers Omer Damari and Fredrik Gulbrandsen. However there have been some reasonably good fits including Ibrahim Sekagya who helped lead the club to its first ever silverware before becoming a reserves coach and current rotation midfielder Marc Rzatkowski who is quietly finishing his third year in New York.
The Red Bulls thrive on a high intensity playing style, so bringing in an athletic striker would be a smart transfer. There’s always room for dynamic attackers to stretch the back line and cause chaos in the opponent’s box. If Tetteh does make the move to MLS and becomes a successful player, perhaps an expression of gratitude to current Salzburg manager Jesse Marsch would be in order, presuming he had a hand in directing a useful player to his former club.