- Partey has been out injured for the last two months
- Otto Addo has been retained as head coach
- He has named three debutants
Despite being pictured training with the Arsenal first team, midfielder Thomas Partey is out of Ghana’s two 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers next month. The midfielder has been out for the last two months nursing a hamstring injury and only just returned to first team training with the Gunners.
The midfield colossus’ absence proved to be a huge hit for Arsenal before Egyptian Mo Elneny came in to fill the gap. His absence for Ghana will be massive, but they hope to cope in his absence as he takes more time towards recovery.
Meanwhile, the Ghanaian Football Association (GFA) has continued to put trust in the coaching team that delivered them a World Cup qualification against all odds. Borussia Dortmund have allowed Otto Addo, who is their assistant coach to continue in his role with the Black Stars.
Addo had been picked by Ghana to replace Milovan Rajevac, but only for the double confrontation against Nigeria in the qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. However, after pulling off the miracle of qualification alongside Technical Advisor Chris Hughton, a former Brighton coach, he is set to continue in the same role.
The tactician has named three debutants in his squad for next month’s qualifiers.
Among them is Bristol City striker Antoine Semenyo, including France-based defender Alidu Seidu and Bechem United winger Augustine Okrah.
Semenyo has been handed a maiden invitation to the Black Stars following his blistering form in the English Championship this season that has seen him score eight goals and provide 12 assists in 31 appearances for City.
He was initially expected to make the Ghana team for the World Cup playoff but was ruled out due to an injury.
Hearts of Oak and former Ghana U20 captain Daniel Afriyie Barnieh and Bechem United talisman Augustine Okrah are the only home based players included in Addo’s squad.
Meanwhile, Addo has been boosted by the return of three players including captain Andre Ayew and fit-again stars Mubarak Wakaso and Richmond Boakye who are all part of the 33-man squad released by the tactician.
The trio was not part of the squad that played Nigeria in the decisive World Cup qualifiers in March.
Apart from Partey, defender Alexadre Djiku will also miss the matches due to suspension.
The Black Stars will face Madagascar in the first of the double-header on June 1 at the Cape Coast Stadium before they tackle Central African Republic four days later in Angola.
After the AFCON qualification matches, the Ghanaian team will head out to Japan for a four-day international tournament from June 10-14 which they will use as the start of preparations towards the World Cup.
The Black Stars will play hosts Japan in the opening game of the Kirin Soccer Cup and will play against either of Chile or Tunisia in the final fixture of the mini tournament.
GOALKEEPERS: Joseph Wollacott – Swindon Town, Abdul Manaf Nurudeen – KAS Eupen, Lawrence Ati-Zigi – FC St. Gallen, Richard Ofori – Orlando Pirates
DEFENDERS: Denis Odoi – Club Brugge, Alidu Seidu – Clement Foot, Gideon Mensah – Girondins Bordeaux, Abdul Rahman Baba – Reading FC, Abdul Mumin – Vitoria Guimaraes, Daniel Amartey – Leicester City, Joseph Aidoo – Celta Vigo, Jonathan Mensah – Columbus Crew
MIDFIELDERS: Iddrisu Baba Mohammed – Real Mallorca, Edmund Addo – Sheriff Tiraspol, Elisha Owusu – KAA Gent, Mohammed Kudus – AFC Ajax, Daniel-Kofi Kyereh – FC St. Pauli, Mubarak Wakaso – Shenzhen FC
WINGERS: Joseph Paintsil – KRC Genk, Andre Ayew – Al Sadd, Augustine Okrah – Bechem United, Osman Bukari – FC Nantes, Abdul Fatawu Issahaku – Sporting Lisbon, Kamaldeen Sulemana – Stade Rennes, Yaw Yeboah – Columbus Crew, Christopher Antwi-Agyei – VfL Bochum
STRIKERS: Jordan Ayew – Crystal Palace, Daniel Afriyie Barnieh – Hearts of Oak, Felix Afena-Gyan – AS Roma, Kwesi Okyere Wriedt – Holstein Kiel, Antoine Selorm Semenyo – Bristol City, Benjamin Tetteh – Yeni Malatyaspor, Braydon Manu – SV Darmstadt