GHANA: Chelsea’s Essien returns to international action

Ghana

This past Tuesday, Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah named a 26-man squad to face Zambia in Ghana’s next World Cup qualifying game on the 6th of September. Of note was the inclusion of Chelsea midfielder, Michael Essien who had not played for the Black Stars since June 2011. Many have questioned the timing of the call considering Essien hasn’t featured in any of Chelsea’s last 3 competitive games.

Also making a comeback are AC Milan’s Kevin-Prince Boateng and Marseille’s both of which have absented themselves from national duties for various reasons. After an unpopular decision by the Ghana Football Association to have the returning players communicate their decision in writing, it comes as no surprise when Essien’s name appeared on the list since there haven’t been any mention of him stating his return.

It has been an interesting couple of weeks in Ghana football with the return of Boateng especially whom many Ghanaians feel has taken the country for a ride and has just jumped on the Ghana train to Brazil now that it is almost certain that the Black Stars will make it.

But in truth, this perhaps represents the strongest possible side Coach Appiah could name, at least on paper. However conspicuously missing from the squad list was Boateng’s team-mate at Milan, Sulley Muntari. He, also only last week had written to the FA apologizing for his behavior in Ghana’s World Cup qualifier against Lesotho where it is believed he had questioned the coach’s decision to substitute him.

Full Ghana Squad

Goalkeepers: Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Adam Kwarasey (Stromgodset, Norway), Razak Braimah (Guadalajara, Spain)

Defenders: Samuel Inkoom (Dnipro, Ukraine), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege, Belgium), Harrison Afful (Esperance, Tunisia), Kissi Boateng (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), John Boye (Rennes, France), Jonathan Mensah (Evian, France), Rashid Sumaila (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Mohammed Awal (Maritzburg United, South Africa)

Midfielders: Rabiu Mohammed (Kuban Krasnodar, Russia), Yussif Raman Chibsah (Sassuolo, Italy), Michael Essien (Chelsea, England), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus, Italy), Emmanuel Agyemang Badu (Udinese, Italy), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough, England), Solomon Asante (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Mubarak Wakaso (Espanyol, Spain), Christian Atsu (Porto, Portugal), Frank Acheampong (Anderlecht, Belgium)

Strikers: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain, UAE), Andre Ayew (Marseille, France), Kevin Prince Boateng (AC Milan, Italy), Abdul Majeed Waris (Spartak Moscow, Russia), Mahatma Otoo (Sogndal, Norway)

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