He might not be the biggest — or even the tallest — of strikers, but you’d struggle to find a goalscorer in the Ghana Premier League more endowed with the gifts of instinct and precision than Karela United’s Diawisie Taylor.
Taylor has taken the league by storm with a string of strong performances this season, spearheading the Aiyinase-based club’s attack and its charge to the top of the table, while showing levels of maturity unusual of one so young.
The 21-year-old has been in imperious form, finding the back of the net with stunning regularity — topscorer, in fact, on 12 goals — and has been at the heart of almost every Karela move.
Taylor’s endeavor, pace and intelligent movement, both behind the defence and in front of it, has caught the eye, but the prominence he now enjoys is no sudden development.
Born and raised in Berekum, Taylor hails from a region — Brong Ahafo, as it was known until a few years ago — reputed for its footballing excellence. He started out at Berekum Arsenal, a former top-flight side that now competes in the second tier, as a 15-year-old.
A spell with Bibiani Gold Stars followed, before Taylor’s precocity — evident in 16 goals in his first season, and an even more impressive 24 in the next — saw Karela beat intense competition for his signature.
It did so at a cost of GHS 30,000, but that fee no longer feels so huge, as Taylor wasted little time in proving equal to — and even greater than — that price tag. We saw some of that vast potential in 2019, during the Normalization Committee’s Special Competition, but he has taken it up a notch this term.
Adept at finding spaces between the lines when looking to receive the ball, Taylor displays great judgment in determining the mode of distribution after collecting it: short passes to maintain possession, or longer balls to set his side up for a quick counter-attack.
Taylor, as pointed out at the outset, is not built like the archetypal centre-forward, yet he is strong enough to take on anyone who challenges him. His versatility — especially those neat dribbling skills that make him such a useful winger, when head coach Evans Adotey deploys him in that role — comes in handy, too.
There are days when Taylor can be a tad anonymous, yes, but even on such occasions, one of his characteristic instinctive late runs could change a game’s texture in a heartbeat: see, as a case in point, his brace against Aduana Stars on the most recent matchday — an unlikely, yet emphatic, exclamation mark in a thoroughly unremarkable performance.
Emmanuel Cobbina, a football scout who has followed Taylor’s rise, believes the best is yet to come.
“It’s hard to tell just what Taylor’s limits are,” he told Ink & Kicks.
“I think he can still improve, and he knows it. As I remind him from time to time, it’s not done yet.
“He is a clever player who tries to do better and has, indeed, done better. Taylor runs on an exceptional engine; his movement is great, and he is brave while remaining very humble.”
Those attributes would certainly serve him well, going forward, and Taylor could become an even stronger force of nature when he achieves stable equilibrium.
And that — given what has already been seen of Taylor, the reason for which he is currently in the Black Stars camp ahead of the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers — seems as sure as the sun rising in the morning.
Godfred Budu Yeboah — Ink & Kicks