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29.05.2019 Opinion

Black Stars Can Win AFCON 2019

By Nii Ayi Anteh
Black Stars Can Win AFCON 2019
MAY 29, 2019 OPINION

The careers of Ghana's headline stars are in uncertain stages and I strongly believe that will turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the team in Egypt. Top players like Andre Ayew, Asamoah Gyan, Jordan Ayew, Thomas Partey etc must all do well in Egypt to give their careers a boost. Below I share with you the status of some of Ghana's top stars at Club level, the reason why they will have to work extra hard in Egypt:

1. Skipper Andre Ayew: Dede is owned by Swansea, a team in the English Championship. He spent the season just ended in Turkey with Fenerbahce and despite his desire to sign permanently for the Turkish side, the team wasn't so impressed with his output. It was a very difficult season for Fenerbahce. Andre Ayew played 38 games (2344 minutes) for Fenerbahce, he started 28 games and was a substitute in 10. He scored 5 goals, all coming in the Turkish Super Lig. Mother-club Swansea can’t afford Andre’s wages in their current state and the player himself is not willing to ply his trade in the English Championship. He enjoys some appreciable respect in England and France and should he do well in Egypt, Andre will definitely get a new club for the 2019/ 2020 season. He knows he has a lot to prove as a new captain, but beyond that, the need to excel in Egypt to get a new club will not be lost on Andre.

2. General Captain Asamoah Gyan: The Baby Jet had a difficult time with Kayserispor in the 2018/2019 season. He played a total of 17 games (261 minutes) – 14 as a substitute and scored 5 goals. Kayserispor is going through torrid financial times and are keen to keep most of their players, but Gyan has refused to sign for the team again. The Turkish team has not been able to pay Gyan for months now. His outstanding salaries is running up to Euros 500,000. Gyan is keen on finding a new team for the coming season and doing well in Egypt is a must!

3. Jordan Ayew: Jordan, just like Dede was on loan from English Championship side Swansea but he played with Crystal Palace in the EPL for the 2018/2019 season. Jordan played 25 times for Crystal Palace (1187 minutes), 9 as a substitute and scored 2 goals. His loan has ended but Crystal Palace is contemplating signing him on permanently. He will be sold cheap by his parent club Swansea in order to be kept off their books. Jordan need to work hard in Egypt to convince Crystal Palace of his quality and remove any doubt they may have. Even if they fail to sign him, should Jordan do well in Egypt, he is likely to get another team away from the Championship.

4. Thomas Teye Partey: Ghana’s best player at the moment, without a doubt! Teye Partey played 41 times (2485 minutes) for Atletico Madrid in the season that just ended, 10 of which he came on from the substitute bench. In all, he scored 3 goals. Partey believes he deserves more playing time in Atletico Madrid and he hasn’t shy away from making his voice heard. He is being watched by Arsenal and Manchester United in England and Inter Milan in the Italy. Partey is so aware that to get a good deal in the summer, he must come to the party in Egypt.

5. Abdul Majeed Waris: Another loan season has come to an end! Ok, Waris is owned by Portuguese side FC Porto but he spent 2018/ 2019 in France with Nantes. He played a total of 38 matches (2256 minutes), 10 as a substitute and scored 7 goals. A good show in Egypt will help the Striker to break into the Porto side or even give him a chance to be signed on by another team. He ended the season in great form and he will definitely be looking forward to excel in Egypt.

6. Abdul Baba Rahman: o yes, another loan player! Baba Rahman spent the season with Reims in the French Ligue Un on loan from English side, Chelsea. He played 11 times (965 minutes) in the Ligue Un and scored 1 goal. The left-back’s time in France is done and he must do well in Egypt to be given the needed attention in Chelsea or at best to get another permanent club to sign for. His contract with Chelsea ends in 2020 and Baba knows what that means. Egypt must go well for Baba.

7. Caleb Ekuban: Caleb was so unwanted in Leeds in the English Championship and he found his time away with Trabzonspor in the Turkish League a great opportunity to silence his critics. He was featured 36 times (1446 minutes), 17 as a substitute but he gave a very good account of himself. He ended the season with 8 goals to his credit and managed to make his loan to the Turkish side permanent. But hold on… Trabzonspor are keen on selling Ekuban right away. They believe they can sell him for a higher price now to make a profit from the Euros 1.3 million they paid to Leeds. The player is eager to do well in order to stand a chance of going away from Turkey. Afcon is the right stage to shine.

Aside these players, most of the other players have good reasons to be hungry for success in Egypt. I think this hunger will propel the team to its fifth Afcon triumph. Don’t you agree with me?

By Nii Ayi Anteh
[email protected]
Boston, Massachusetts.

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