By Sulayman Bah
Musa Barrow has shown a side of him the world didn’t see coming.
Loaned from Atalanta in the sum of five million euros, he wasn’t the guy one would expect will hit the podium so soon. If he ever had to, then it was expected at least mid-way through the season.
However, he had everyone gulping down their assessment of his abilities.
For the young Gambia international, it was an adventure of shaming his doubters and one of those is probably his Atalanta gaffer Gasperini who could by now be burying his head in the sands or perhaps biting his fingers in sprinkles of regret for having sanctioned the temporary exit of the attacker.
Facing the stark reality that greeted in the last months at the Bergamo-based Gweiss Stadium, the West African stood zero chance of breaking into options-rich Atalanta’s line up, puffed up by the dexterity of Divan Zapata, Luis Fruto who’re all ahead of him in Gasperini’s offensive hierarchy.
Musa has been linked with the exit door all season but only Bologna, from amongst the legion of admirers, have been able to match terms and the developmental path cut out for the striker’s progress blueprint.
On Atalanta’s part, it was a sigh of relief, an end to a protracted period of speculation, one that will lift off their chest burden of paying a player who is better off elsewhere. And, elsewhere, he was shipped to with the Renato D’Villa stadion the Scorpion’s destination.
Such was the faith Bologna’s board had in the Gambian, convinced his blistering pace will not only further reinforce a steady strike force but sharpen the side’s overall ambition of gatecrashing the Serie A Champions League places.
This intuition has proven a gamble worth the take with Barrow firing in from all cylinders.
With just two hundred and twenty-three minutes of four football outings –one being a start in the lineup – Barrow has shown glimpses that he is cut out for the top.
AS Roma can better tell of the potent the Gambia possesses after he reduced their defence in a heap, scoring two goals – his third for Bologna.
First, the former Banjul Hawks goal-getter sped down the left wing to slope in a teasing pass that the on-rushing Manchester United defender Chris Smallings inadvertently couldn’t keep out as Orsolini wreaked havoc with the game’s first goal for Bologna, a simple tap past Roma’s net-minder.
Then came his heart-stopping second goal.
The 21-year-old positioned himself from edge of the box to control well upon a pass from a teammate before clattering in a ferocious effort that deflected off a Roma defender to the back of the net.
As the Stade Olimpico fans struggled to come to terms with unfolding events, Barrow struck again, this time with beautiful drop of the shoulder to blast home a right-footed kick beyond the goalkeeper’s reach to complete his man-of-the match display.
His Saturday’s performance showed a man who had put behind him his confidence crisis at Atalanta with hope now visibly etched on his face.