Ghana have named their team for next month’s African Cup of Nations, leaving out AC Milan star Sulley Muntari and Jordan Ayew of Marseille in the 26-man squad.
Coach Kwesi Appiah named several players who will be making their debut in Africa’s flagship tournament to be held in South Africa in January including five home-based players.
There was the shock inclusion of Bristol City winger Albert Adomah, the local league’s leading scorer Yahaya Mohammed, Mohammed Rabiu Mohammed of French side Evian and Mubarak Wakaso of Spanish side Espanyol.
Key players including Juventus star Kwadwo Asamoah, striker Asamoah Gyan, Emmanuel Agyemang Badu, Andre Ayew, Christian Atsu, John Boye, Isaac Vorsah and goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey all retained their places in the squad.
The squad will be whittled down to 23 which means three players will be axed before the final squad is presented to CAF on the 10th January.
In a brave move, coach Appiah left out Jodan Ayew, who has been in good form in France, where he plays for Marseille.
But the striker has been a flop in recent matches for the Black Stars as his performances against Zambia in Ndola and Malawi in Accra were condemned by experts of the game which looked to have been the reason that sealed his doom.
Ayew’s unimpressive showing while playing for Ghana could have led to the decision to axe him in favour of Juventus on loan striker Richmond Boakye Yiadom and African Champions League top-scorer Emmanuel Clottey who were industrious when they were given the chance to impress for the Black Stars.
Swedish league’s top scorer and best player Abdul Majeed Waris was also dropped while lack of playing time and below par performances by right-back Samuel Inkoom led to his exclusion with John Paintsil and Harrison Afful vying for that slot.
David Addy failed to impress the coach at left-back so he makes way for Richard Kissi Boateng and versatile Mubarak Wakaso and the injuries and lack of playing time conspired against ex-captain John Mensah.
Despite recovering from injuries that kept him out for six months, AC Milan midfielder Muntari will not play at the Cup of Nations as coach Appiah does not want to gamble with Kwadwo Asamoah, Andre Ayew, Christian Atsu and Mubarak Wakaso all capable of playing in the left wing position.
They will begin camping in Abu Dhabi on 5th January.
In the United Arab Emirates, the Black Stars will play two friendly matches against Egypt on 10 Janaury and Tunisia three days later.
The team will leave for their tournament base in Port Elizabeth on January 16.
Ghana will play DR Congo in their Group B opener on 20 January before matches against Mali and Niger.
Goalkeeper: Adam Kwarasey (Stromsgodset, Norway), Fatau Dauda (AshantiGold, Ghana), Daniel Agyei (Liberty Professionals, Ghana)
Defenders: John Paintsil (Hapoel Tel-Aviv, Israel), Harrison Afful (Esperance, Tunisia), Richard Kissi Boateng (Berekum Chelsea, Ghana), John Boye (Rennes, France), Jonathan Mensah (Evian, France), Isaac Vorsah (Red Bull Salzburg, Austria), Jerry Akaminko (Eskisehirspor, Turkey), Rashid Sumaila (Asante Kotoko, Ghana), Awal Mohammed (Maritzburg United, South Africa).
Midfielders: Andre Ayew (Marseille, France), Christian Atsu (FC Porto, Portugal), Anthony Annan (Osasuna, Spain), Derek Boateng (Dnipro, Ukraine), Emmanuel Agyemang Badu (Udinese, Italy), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus, Italy), Albert Adomah (Bristol City, England), Rabiu Mohammed (Evian, France), Mubarak Wakaso (Espanyol, Spain), Solomon Asante (Berekum Chelsea).
Strikers: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain, UAE), Emmanuel Clottey (Esperance, Tunisia), Richmond Boakye Yiadom (Sassoulo, Italy) Yahaya Mohammed (Amidaus Professionals).
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