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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2021: Afena-Gyan and Samed out of Ghana’s final squad amid Kudus surprise

23:11 GMT+3 03/01/2022
Andre Ayew Thomas Partey Mohammed Kudus Daniel Amartey Ghana
The Black Stars have announced their final roster for the upcoming continental championship

Roma starlet Felix Afena-Gyan and France-based Salis Abdul Samed have been dropped from Ghana’s final 28-man squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon but Ajax attacker Mohammed Kudus made the cut.

Afena-Gyan and Samed are the only two players dropped from the preliminary 30-man roster announced in December.

The former’s absence is a result of a request on his part to be excused from international football on the back of his recent rise to prominence.

The attacker, who also turned down his first and only previous Ghana call-up for a 2018 World qualifying double-header in November, made his senior debut for Roma in late October, going on to score a sensational double in a 2-0 victory over Genoa in November.

Last week, GOAL exclusively reported that the 18-year-old would not be included in Ghana's final Afcon squad.

Samed, one of four debutants in Ghana’s provisional squad, is reportedly out of Afcon owing to the reluctance of French club Clermont to sanction his release for the tournament over fitness concerns.

Ajax playmaker Mohammed Kudus is, however, a surprising inclusion in the Black Stars’ final squad after being spotted in the club’s entourage for their mid-season training camp in Portugal on Monday, amid concerns over his fitness following a rib injury sustained while on international duty in October.

Regular stars including Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey, captain Andre Ayew, Crystal Palace striker Jordan Ayew and Leicester City centre-back Daniel Amartey are in the final squad.

Young talent Kamaldeen Sulemana and Abdul Fatawu Issahaku are also on the team.

Ghana, in the search for the fifth continental title, are in Group C, alongside Morocco, Comoros and Gabon for the January 9 – February 6 tournament.

Full Squad:

Goalkeepers: Joseph Wolacott (Swindon Town), Abdul Manaf Nurudeen (Eupen), Richard Attah (Hearts of Oak), Lawrence Ati Zigi (St. Gallen)

Defenders: Andy Yiadom (Reading FC), Philemon Baffuor (Dreams FC), Baba Abdul Rahman (Reading FC), Gideon Mensah (Girondins Bordeaux), Daniel Amartey (Leicester City), Alexander Djiku (Strasbourg FC), Jonathan Mensah (Columbus Crew), Khalid Abdul Mumin (Vitoria de Guimaraes)

Midfielders: Baba Iddrissu (Real Mallorca), Edmund Addo (Sherif Tiraspol), Thomas Teye Partey (Arsenal FC), Mubarak Wakaso (Shenzhen FC), Mohammed Kudus (Ajax Amsterdam), Daniel Kofi Kyere (St. Pauli), David Abagna (Real Tamale United)

Wingers: Abdul Fatawu Issahaku (Dreams FC), Samuel Owusu (Al-Fayha), Kamal Deen Suleymana (Rennes FC), Dede Ayew (Al Sadd SC), Joseph Paintsil (Genk)

Strikers: Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace), Richmond Boakye Yiadom (Beitar Jerusalem), Maxwell Abbey Quaye (Great Olympics), Benjamin Tetteh (Malatyaspor)