With no new faces expected in the Black Stars’ World Cup squad, has this ended Baby Jet’s hopes of reaching Qatar?
Ghana aren’t expecting any new players to break their way into the squad
This is a massive blow to Asamoah Gyan’s comeback dream
It’s bad news for other Ghana hopefuls not currently with the national side
THE BIGGER PICTURE: In an interview, Gyan had hinted he would be ready to wear the Ghana jersey once more should he receive a call-up.
Gyan is the Black Stars’ leading goal scorer with 51 goals in 109 appearances and is currently without a team since he left Ghana Premier League side Legon Cities in 2021.
Black Stars assistant head coach George Boateng recently revealed that there were no talks with the former Udinese star over the possibility of featuring in the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.
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WHAT HAS BEEN SAID: “As things stand, I can confidently say no,” Henry Asante, GFA communication director, is quoted as saying when asked whether he expected new faces in the World Cup-bound team.
“We’ve gone through a long journey with the qualifications and have tested the players. I’m sure your question has to do with bringing in some of the players whose names have popped up, but as things stand, I don’t think that is likely to happen.
“I wouldn’t say when a player is doing well in Europe or on the domestic front, he wouldn’t be given the chance. I’m not in a position to say that. Anything is possible.”
Asante’s assertion contradicts what head coach Otto Addo has said before.
After leaving Joseph Paintsil, who is in good form for his Belgian club Genk, out of his squad for the Brazil friendly, the tactician said his decision does not mean the Black Stars gates are forever closed for Paintsil.
However, Asante appears happy with the player Ghana currently have at their disposal.
“I think we have a good team,” Asante continued. “I think we are building a very strong team. A team with Joseph Wollacot, Tariq Lamptey, Alidu Seidu, Baba Rahman, Gideon Mensah, [Stephan Kofi ] Ambrosius, [Mohammed] Salisu, Alexander Djiku, Inaki Williams, [Abdul] Issahaku, etc.
“These are top professionals, and if you can build a team out of these names, you will be unbeatable. We have quality in the team. Age is on our side. On average, we have a team that has 22-year-olds. It indicates that the future is bright and the future stars tomorrow.”
WHAT IS NEXT FOR GYAN? With Asante’s comments, Gyan’s chances of wearing the national jersey again look slim.
His situation is made more complicated by the availability of ambitious and young stars who are seen as the future of Ghana’s striking department. Mohammed Kudus, just 22 years of age, is expected to be a long-term member of the national side.
Inaki Williams’ switch of nationality also adds more striking competition, as the West Africans hope to build a new generation of players to reach the latter stages of major tournaments.
WHAT IS MORE? Ahead of the Qatar finals, where they will face Portugal, Uruguay, and South Korea in Group H, the Black Stars will face Brazil and Nicaragua in September friendlies.