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Chris Hughton justifies inclusion of Dede Ayew in CAR clash

Some critics have questioned Ayew's inclusion in the squad, arguing he is no longer fit to play in the national team

Black Stars coach Chris Hughton has justified why he called clubless Black Stars captain Dede Ayew for Thursday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game against the Central African Republic (CAR) in Kumasi.

Some critics have questioned Ayew’s inclusion in the squad, arguing he is no longer fit to play in the national team.

However, speaking in an exclusive interview with Victor Atsu Tamakloe on the Asaase Breakfast Show on Tuesday (5 September), Hughton said the left-footer has an impact on the team because of his wealth of experience.

“My point of view as a coach is to pick up players with experience; there will always be the general public’s perception. Ayew has experience, which he brings to the team, and his impact on the players,” Hughton said.

“The most important thing is winning the game, so I need to select a team that can help us win the game. But it’s also about consistency,” he added.

Watch the full interview in the attached video clip below: 

Call-up

Hughton has named Medeama SC striker Jonathan Sowah in his 25-man squad for this month’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Central African Republic in Kumasi.

The former Danbort FC forward who joined the champions in the second transfer window scored 12 goals to help them win the League title.

Also in the squad are Elisha Owusu and Baba Iddrisu who make a return to the squad after recovering from injuries. Baba Iddrisu missed the FIFA World Cup in Qatar while Elisha Owusu who picked up an injury in February, has yet to play for Ghana since the FIFA World Cup finals in November last year.

Another player who returns to the squad is South Africa based goalkeeper Richard Ofori who hasn’t played for Ghana since September 27, 2022 when Ghana beat Nicaragua 1-0 in a pre-World Cup friendly in Lorca, Spain.

Arsenal ace Thomas Partey is left out of the squad due to injury. According to his club, the player picked up an injury in training and could be on the sidelines for a while, however the Black Stars medical teams is monitoring the situation.

Ghana will host Central Africa Republic in their final Group E game at the Baba Yara Sports stadium on Thursday 7 September 2023.

The squad:

Goalkeepers

Lawrence Ati-Zigi, Abdul Manaf Nurudeen, Richard Ofori

Defenders

Alidu Seidu, Kingsley Schindler, Stephan Ambrosius, Joseph Aidoo, Alexander Djiku, Nicholas Opoku, Baba Abdul Rahman, Gideon Mensah

Midfielders

Abdul Samed Salis, Baba Iddissu, Andre Ayew, Elisha Owusu, Edmund Addo, Mohammed Kudus, Ransford Koningsdorffer

Forwards

Inaki Williams, Antoine Semenyo, Jordan Ayew, Ernest Nuamah, Osman Bukari, Joseph Painstil, Jonathan Sowah

 

Reporting by Fred Dzakpata in Accra

 

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