A string of promising performances later, Accra Hearts of Oak’s Seidu Suraj is on course to present himself as one of the club’s better performers this season.
Suraj joined the Phobians from lower-tier Tema United ahead of the 2021/22 campaign, having also played for Phar Rangers on loan.
Adjusting to the expectations of making an impact for the top-flight champions wasn’t going to happen in an instant, of course, which is probably why Hearts head coach Samuel Boadu initially utilised him as a rotation player.
With Hearts going through a rough patch, coupled with Boadu’s preference for sticking with a trusted core of players, Suraj had to spend time waiting in the wings for his chance.
He wasn’t idle in that period, however, busily soaking up all the off-field knowledge required to help him flourish at a club so massive. All that time on the periphery has served him well, and Suraj now appears ready to be put to more regular and vigorous use.
The young forward, capable of playing on either flank, or through the middle as a false nine, possesses speed, intelligence and top dribbling skills. The result of marrying those impressive natural attributes with his upgraded mindset has been evident in Suraj’s performances, summarised by two goals in six league appearances and another in the FA Cup.
For a vivid snapshot of what Suraj offers Hearts, see their last game — away to Bechem United.
The 20-year-old played with the calmness and composure of a seasoned veteran. Brilliant in his movement, Suraj showed tremendously fast feet, a fantastic eye for a pass, and capped it off with a fine goal to earn his side a point from a venue most visiting teams have picked less this term.
Also impressive is Suraj’s willingness to play his natural game while shouldering the responsibility of contributing to the collective effort. Together with the more experienced Daniel Afriyie Barnieh – another endowed with the ability to make things happen – Suraj’s presence has helped rejuvenate a Hearts attack that had gone stale.
The dynamism and excitement is back at the club, and Suraj, as he develops some more, would only add to that. Assuming Suraj can fully eschew complacency, he has the potential to set a new benchmark for youngsters on Hearts’ books and, indeed, his peers throughout the division.
There is, really, a whole lot more to come from this kid from Lashibi but, as effusive as the praise he received after the trip to Bechem was, it would be too quick for the fans to foist their hopes on one so young.
Suraj – a smart piece of business by the capital-based outfit, potentially – is still a prospect, requiring careful nurturing to continue on this upward trajectory and eventually hit the heights.
In the meantime, while he’s still blossoming, enjoy him.