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05.06.2019 Cup of Nations

AFCON 2-19: Ranking Top 10 Ghanaians Missing From The Black Stars’ Afcon Squad

AFCON 2-19: Ranking Top 10 Ghanaians Missing From The Black Stars’ Afcon Squad
LISTEN JUN 5, 2019

#10 Bernard Tekpetey
Despite scoring 10 goals and contributing four assists in 32 outings in the Bundesliga II this season, the Paderborn youngster has been overlooked for Ghana’s provisional squad.

It’s seemingly a bizarre decision by Kwesi Appiah, particularly considering Tekpetey’s versatility—he’s played on the right side, as a No. 10, in a deeper role or as a forward this term—and a lack of other options.

Why, for example, has the coach turned to Thomas Agyepong, who’s played just 60 minutes in the last six months, ahead of Tekpetey?

#9 Alfred Duncan
An injury absentee, Duncan has impressed in Serie A this term and has emerged as a transfer target for Bologna following a series of fine performances for Sassuolo.

The midfielder could have been a better option than Ebenezer Ofori in the heart of the park, but his frustrating international career continues to be just that…frustrating.

#8 Nicholas Opoku
Opoku’s international career—much like his maiden season at Udinese—has been halted in its tracks by injury.

The centre-back could have been a starter for the West Africans in Egypt, but he ends the Serie A season with just 12 appearances (nine starts) after a series of fitness issues.

When he has played, Opoku has made a series of notable errors, although at 21, Opoku’s time will surely come.

#7 Kevin-Prince Boateng
Prince has reportedly been angling for a Black Stars return, even if he’s had a particularly fractious relationship with the Ghanaian football federation for almost the entirety of his international career.

Admittedly, a move to Barcelona hasn’t worked out—Boateng has managed just three La Liga appearances since an unexpected January transfer—but the former Serie A winner nonetheless carries a considerable goal threat, either from midfield or further forward.

#6 Albert Adomah
One of the few players on this list who are fit and in relatively good form, Adomah recently secured a Premier League promotion with Aston Villa after the Birmingham giants defeated Derby County in the playoffs.

He’s a talented operator out wide, carries a goal threat, and could also have been a rare experienced head in Appiah’s Black Stars side.

#5 Daniel Amartey
Injury has prevented Amartey from taking part, which is a big loss considering he’s recently come into his own in the international setup.

While he’s often been used as a competent full-back at Leicester City, the defender would have been a key option at centre-back for the Black Stars.

#4 Jeffrey Schlupp
Schupp hasn’t played since Crystal Palace’s 3-1 home defeat by Manchester City in April, with his season being curtailed early due to an ankle injury.

It’s this problem that’s kept him out of Appiah’s provisional squad, where the former Leicester City man could have been an option along the left side or in a tucked-in midfield role.

It’s a miserable stroke of misfortune for Schlupp, one of only three active Ghanaian players with a Premier League winner’s medal, who had finally been enjoying some fine form at Palace.

#3 Harrison Afful
A broken jaw appears to have cost Afful his place at the Nations Cup, even though he could feasibly have made his return to fitness in time for the tournament itself.

The veteran campaigner continues to be a classy operator at right-back, and his experience could have been a vital asset during the Afcon.

#2 Richmond Boakye
Another injury absentee, although there are no guarantees that Boakye would have made the cut anyway—he’s started just one international since scoring twice against Congo-Brazzaville during a World Cup qualifier in September 2017.

He’s scored 13 goals in 15 outings in Serbia for Red Star Belgrade this season and could have been a valuable Plan B (or even Plan A) for Ghana in Egypt.

Now 26, Boakye’s international career is still to truly get off the ground.

#1 Frank Acheampong
Unlike many of the other players on this list, Acheampong hasn’t been struggling with injury, and he’s a shocking omission from Appiah’s plans.

The wideman was one of Ghana’s stars at the last Nations Cup, and his versatility—he can play in various wide roles—could have made him a key asset in Egypt.

Acheampong is also in good form in China, having made eight decisive goal contributions in 12 outings for Tianjin TEDA.

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