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Afena-Gyan: How Europa Conference League final could complete remarkable season for Roma and Ghana star

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Afena-Gyan: How Europa Conference League final could complete remarkable season for Roma and Ghana star

GOAL looks at the teenager’s incredible debut first term of senior football ahead of Wednesday’s continental final

At 19, Felix Afena-Gyan could end his first season of professional football with European glory as Roma take on Feyenoord in the final of the Uefa Europa Conference League at Albania’s Kombetare Arena in Tirana on Wednesday.

This is indeed phenomenal considering just a little over a year ago, the striker was playing youth football back home in Ghana.

In March last year, he was signed to a professional deal with The Yellow-Reds after impressing on trial, and sent to the club’s youth ranks for development.

An immediate hit with the Primavera side, it was not surprising he was offered chances to train with the senior squad on occasion, going on to make his professional debut in a Serie A fixture against Cagliari last October.

And after scoring a magnificent double against Genoa a month later in what was just his third game, he has never looked back, even if playing opportunities have been scarce.

In March, he took another significant career leap, making his international debut as Ghana edged Nigeria to World Cup qualification, and now Qatar-bound, the teenager stands to end what has been an amazing first season with European gold.

It is a cup campaign in which he has made three appearances so far, having only been drafted into the Roma squad for the competition’s knock-out stage in March on the back of his sensational growth since the start of the season when he was only a youth team player.

His debut came as a late substitute in a 1-1 home draw with Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem in the Round of 16, then he followed up with 31 minutes of second half action against Norwegian side Bodo Glimt, before playing another cameo role in a 1-1 away draw with Leicester City in the last four.

So what do the bookmakers say about the Ghanaian’s chances of winning gold on Wednesday?

Roma have been tipped as favourites going into the game, not just because of their bigger reputation as a club but also by their ability in navigating what many see as a tougher route to the final after…

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