New boys out to win CK’s trust

New boss, new names. It was inevitable that new Ghana coach C. K Akonnor would throw in new names in his much anticipated squad since he was announced as the new head coach of the Black Stars.

That was the case on Tuesday when he faced the media to put the players he would be relying on in the doubleheader Afcon 2021 qualifier against Sudan in Cape Coast and Khartoum.

There are five players in line for a debut in those games after the call-ups but some of their numbers and their seasons open up a whole debate about whether they are strengthening the team in attack especially.

Eugene Ansah is one of those players. The 25-year-old centre forward plays for Hapoel Raanana in the Israeli Ligat ha’Al and has proven his versatility for the Israeli club, playing everywhere across the forward line.

His goal scoring record is a major cause for concern, however, with just 3 goals in 25 games. To put that into context, exciting Black Stars prospect Mohammed Kudus has 3 times that amount of goals from central midfield in a more competitive league (Danish Superligaen) and in seven less matches as well.

Gideon Mensah has been in fantastic form for Belgian club Zulte Waregem in the Jupiter Pro League this season, starting 18 games and contributing offensively from left back with two assists.

The 21-year- old fullback on loan from RB Salzburg in Austria could be the answer to Ghana’s long-standing problems at left back, and it will be interesting to see how he fares in the games against Sudan later this month.

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Tariqe Fosu is one of the most exciting players to be given their first cal-up to the national team by head coach C. K Akonnor. The dexterous winger scored an impressive eight goals in 25 games this season for Oxford United, earning him a January move to promotion favourites Brentford City, where he has already played three games. Ghanaians would be hoping he can use his pace and skill to devastating effect in the upcoming games against Sudan.

Kwadwo Amoako has been an absolute rock at the back for Ashanti Gold this season. The 26-year-old versatile centre back who can also play in left back and defensive midfield has marshalled the Kumasi-based club to an impressive 9 clean sheets in 12 games, the best record in the country. He is arguably the best centre back in the country this season and his call-up is well merited.

Richard Attah is another locally based player who has earned his first call-up to the Black Stars. The 24-year-old has been in sensational form for Accra Hearts of Oak since signing for the Phobians in December, and has kept five clean sheets this season, winning fans over with his cat-like reflexes.

He could stake his claim for the starting spot in between the Black Stars posts come AFCON 2021 with solid performances in the forthcoming games against Sudan.

By Nene Afadzinu||Ghana