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banner Saturday, 19 May, 2001, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
Lamptey could return to Belgium
Nii Odartey Lamptey
Laptey started his European career at Belgium club Anderlecht
Nii Odartey Lamptey, the Ghanaian teenage prodigy whose career has been in freefall in recent years, could be on the move again, back to Belgium where his initial journey began.

KV Mechelen are keen to sign the 26-year-old midfielder, bringing him back together with coach Aad de Mos, who signed Lamptey over a decade ago as a 15-year-old from Ghana.

De Mos is now the technical director at Mechelen while Lamptey has been playing in the German second division with SpVgg Greuther Furth.

Mechelen have just been relegated from the first division in Belgium and say they are still seeking the money to make the move for Lamptey, who has said he is keen to go there.

Lamptey has featured in 15 matches for the German club this season, but incredibly all of them after coming on as a second-half substitute.

Furth ready to sell

He has scored once in the campaign, with the club just missing out on promotion, and Greuther Furth say they are prepared to sell the former Black Star.

De Mos brought Lamptey to Anderlecht from Young Corners in Accra, Ghana.

He was hailed as the new 'Pele' and age limit rules in Belgium were changed to allow him to debut at the age of 16 for Anderlecht.

Lamptey helped Ghana's Under-17 team win the world title in Italy in 1991 and also played for the Black Stars in the Nations Cup finals in Senegal the following year where they lost in the final.

Career slump

His star continued to rise for several seasons, signed by PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands and then English club Aston Villa.

But Lamptey's career went into a slide after that with lean spells at Coventry City (England), Venezia (Italy), Union Santa Fe (Argentina), Ankaragucu (Turkey), Uniao Leiria (Portugal) and now Greuther Furth.

In Argentina, he also suffered personal tragedy with the death of his young son through illness.

His international career with Ghana dried up after the 1996 African Nations Cup finals in South Africa, where the Black Stars finished fourth.

Lamptey has not played for his country since they lost 8-2 to Brazil in Rio Preto in March 1996.

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