By Ameenu Shardow
Coach Akwasi Appiah has hailed Asamoah Gyan as the best Ghana striker at present.
The Black Stars captain scored his first goal at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in the 3-0 thrashing of Niger on Monday.
Gyan, 27, came into the Nations Cup in South Africa as the most in-form striker having already scored 21 goals in 13 games for Al Ain in the UAE top flight.
The ex Udinese, Rennes and Sunderland hitman however had to wait until the final group game against Niger to get off the mark.
Many have criticized the performance of Gyan following his inability to convert glaring chances especially in Ghana’s opening group draw with DR Congo.
Some have even suggested the Black Stars captain be benched for subsequent games in order to give the other strikers in the team an opportunity to shine.
But coach Appiah remains resolute in his defence of Gyan – saying his improved work rate and vital assists combines to make him the best Ghanaian striker as at now.
“Asamoah Gyan is my captain and for me all the games he has been playing I am really satisfied with him,” Appiah said.
“Sometimes you look at the game and it is not about the player himself. Sometimes how he assists, how he draws people out and attract opponents so he creates opportunities for others.
“It is not every day that a player may have his day but the most important thing is that player may have some qualities that other players don’t have so.
“In that aspect you keep him in the team for other players to work around him.
“Saying that, I personally believe in our country now, he is the best striker we have at the moment and yesterday for me he did well but I still believe he can do better than he did.
Appiah however says Gyan’s continued role as a starter in the Black Stars team at the Nations Cup largely depends on his performance in training.
“As to whether he will start the next game or not, that depends on what he does during the training sessions,” Appiah added.
Asamoah Gyan picked up the official Fair Play award following his heightened performance against Niger where he scored one and assisted in the other two goals that were scored.