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Afcon 2021: Ghana coach Rajevac addresses concerns over Roma's Afena-Gyan availability

10:22 AM EST 12/22/21
AS Roma of Ghana and striker Felix Afena-Gyan.
The Black Stars boss sheds light on his squad selection for the upcoming continental gathering in Cameroon

Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac expects Roma teenager Felix Afena-Gyan to honour his latest call-up for the Africa Cup of Nations despite a no-show on his first and only previous call-up.

The 18-year-old is among a group of youngsters named in the Black Stars’ 30-man provisional squad unveiled for the January 9 – February 6 tournament in Cameroon.

In November, the striker was handed his maiden call-up for a 2022 World Cup qualifying double-header against Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, only a few weeks after making his professional debut for Roma, but he turned down the invitation, saying he did not feel ready for international football.

“Felix Afena-Gyan is on the list because he’s showing potential and he’s trying to establish himself in his club and we want to have him here, so we will see what is going to happen,” Rajevac told pressmen on Tuesday on the attacker’s inclusion despite his “unreadiness” for the Black Stars.

“This is a chance for him to get to know the others, to understand the requirements and become part of the Black Stars so he is on the list. We expect him to come.”

Also in Ghana’s squads are five debutants including Portugal-based Abdul Mumin, Genk winger Joseph Paintsil and Clermont midfielder Salis Abdul Samed.

The home-based duo of David Abagna (Real Tamale United) and Maxwell Abbey Quaye (Great Olympics) complete the new faces on the Black Stars list, the duo is also part of a contingent of five Ghana Premier League players on the roster.

“The last month or so was spent focusing on putting the team together, monitoring the players, assessing their form and finding the best solutions,” Rajevac added.

“It is never easy making a decision like this because many players deserve to be in the squad.

“We believe that the players we have put together are the best at the moment and I absolutely believe in the players.

“They are ready to deliver for the country and they are ready to fight for their country and do the best they can. The players are happy to be in the team and when you talk to them, they say that they have been waiting for a chance to play for their country.”

At Afcon, Ghana are in Group C, where they will battle it out with Morocco, Gabon and Comoros.