2017 Afcon squad player profiles: Ghana

Ghana’s complete squad for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

Goalkeepers:

Fatau Dauda (Enyimba) 31: Former No 1 who has been eased out of the team, but returns for the Nations Cup after the withdrawal of Adam Kwarasey. Eccentric, and a big locker-room character.

Razak Brimah (Cordoba) 29: Avram Grant’s first-choice stopper, but many portions of the fan base remain unconvinced that he has the quality of some of his predecessors … notably, the aforementioned Kwarasey.

Richard Ofori (Wa All Stars) 23: Ex-Ghana U20 stopper. A regular squad member under Grant, but yet to make his debut despite some excellent performances in the Ghana Premier League.

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Defenders:

Harrison Afful (Columbus Crew) 30: Energetic and underrated right-back. Solid defensively and vibrant going forward, and can offer versatility across the backline. Some suggest that a lack of genuine competition has led to complacency.

Jonathan Mensah (Columbus Crew) 26: Mobile centre-back who loves duelling with powerful forwards – battles he typically wins. Recently moved to Columbus Crew in Major League Soccer after a brief and unproductive spell with Anzhi Makhachkala.

Abdul Rahman Baba (Schalke 04) 22: Talented left-back who adapted seamlessly to international football after being drafted into the Ghana side ahead of the last Nations Cup, emerging from that competition as one of the Black Stars’ key men. A move to Chelsea stymied his progress, and he’s struggled to kick on.

Edwin Gyimah (Orlando Pirates) 25: Squad player who offers a touch of class in the heart of the defence or at the base of the midfield. Ghana’s only unused outfield player at the last Afcon.

Andy Yiadom (Barnsley) 25: Unexpected and uncapped addition to the squad after impressing in the Championship with Barnsley. Talented but raw, and it would be a surprise if he emerged as a genuine contender to Afful on the right.

Daniel Amartey (Leicester City) 22: Having a mixed season at Leicester, where he’s been charged with replacing the departed N’Golo Kante in light of Nampalys Mendy’s injury. Impressed at the last Afcon after breaking on to the scene ... at least before injury derailed his progress, and has recently been preferred to Boye or Mensah in the centre of the defence.

John Boye (Sivasspor) 29: Mensah’s long-term partner in the heart of the backline. Tenacious and brave, but has lost his way in the Turkish lower leagues after relegation with Kayseri Erciyesspor and Sivasspor. Dropped by Grant at the start of the last Nations Cup, but won back his place after injury to Amartey.

ALSO READ: Everything you need to know about Ghana

Midfielders:

Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese) 26: A busy box-to-box midfielder, Badu lost his place in the starting XI during the last Afcon and has never truly won it back. He offers boundless energy, but can be wasteful in possession, with wild long-range shots a speciality.

Andre Ayew (West Ham United) 27: The side’s star man, Dede impressed at the last Afcon and followed that up with an excellent end to his time at Marseille and a fine campaign with Swansea City. Moved to West Ham in the summer, but his first months in London have been beset by injury and a loss of form.

Frank Acheampong (Anderlecht) 23: Talented wideman who was Grant’s go-to guy during Dede’s recent injury. Doesn’t always influence contests as regularly as some would hope.

Christian Atsu (Newcastle United) 24: Exquisite attacking talent nicknamed the ‘Ghanaian Messi’. Atsu was the outstanding player at the last Afcon, but his club career hasn’t kicked on since moving to England. Some recent improvement at Newcastle, but the jury’s out on whether he will ever realise his immense potential.

Mubarak Wakaso (Panathinaikos) 26: The dynamic and versatile midfielder’s qualities have been recognised by Grant, with the manager having established Wakaso as one of the first names on the teamsheet. Now a regular in the heart of the park rather than on the flanks, and takes a mean free kick.

Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid) 23: Boisterous midfielder who impressed on loan during Almeria’s battle against relegation in the 2014/15 season before returning to Atletico Madrid last season, where he helped the club to the Champions League final and figured in the defeat by Real Madrid. Offers muscle and clout.

Bernard Tekpetey (Schalke 04) 19: Wonder kid. Surprise inclusion in the squad after only two league appearances for Schalke and no previous call-ups by Grant. Looks likely to be taken along for the ride, but could offer the missing X factor in attack if the Black Stars labour to break sides down.

Ebenezer Ofori (AIK) 21: Defensive-midfield cover. Given the nod ahead of Enoch Kofi Adu, but still to win his first international cap.

Afriyie Acquah (Torino) 25: Once a promising No 10, Acquah has morphed into more of a physical box-to-box midfielder. Finally settled at Torino after multiple moves as a youngster, but hasn’t hit the heights yet this season.

ALSO READ: Ghana Tactical Team Guide

Forwards:

Asamoah Gyan (Al-Ahli) 31: The squad’s talisman and one of the finest African strikers of his generation, not to mention the continent’s all-time top scorer at World Cups. Last Nations Cup was affected by injury and illness, while his sharpness may be tested after years spent in some of world football’s relative backwaters.

Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa) 25: Bright forward whose recent international scoring record is underwhelming. A starlet with Marseille and once destined for great things, but currently labouring down in the Championship with Aston Villa following last season’s relegation. One of the few Villains to impress last term, and has applied himself well in the Championship over recent months.

Samuel Tetteh (FC Liefering) 20: Young forward who broke his international duck in the draw with Rwanda in September, and will be charged with creating an impact off the bench. In the absence of Waris Majeed and David Accam, the pressure’s on.

Ebenezer Assifuah (Sion) 23: Top scorer at the U20 World Cup in 2013, but excellent scoring record at youth level hasn’t translated to the senior side. Decent upper-body strength, but has been largely limited to a substitute’s role with Sion this season.

By Ed Dove
@EddyDove on Twitter

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Mexico 2 4
Portugal 2 4
Russia 2 3
New Zealand 2 0
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Germany 2 4
Australia 2 1
Cameroon 2 1
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