Ghana’s last competitive match, an AFCON Round of 16 game against Tunisia ended rather disappointingly.
The Black Stars were beaten on penalties by the North Africans and were knocked out of the competition as a result.
Prior to that, the Stars had drawn with Benin and Cameroon, and beaten Guinea Bissau in their three group games.
Despite finishing top of their group, one win in four games was a poor return for the Stars.
As such, sweeping changes were expected for the Black Stars’ next game.
With Ghana football completing its normalisation phase, we’ve had to wait a little longer for Kwesi Appiah and his charges to be brought under the spotlight again.
On Wednesday, Appiah announced his squad for the AFCON 2021 qualifiers against South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe, with a few big names conspicuously missing.
Richard Ofori (Maritzburg FC, South Africa)
Richard Ofori is undoubtedly Ghana’s number one. Having been one of Ghana’s most impressive performers at the last AFCON, Ofori has taken that form to his club side where he’s played in all eight of their PSL games this season. He’s conceded just five goals and kept four clean sheets
Felix Annan (Asante Kotoko, Ghana)
Since the AFCON, Felix Annan has been in good form for Kumasi Asante Kotoko where he captained the side in their CAF Champions League ties against Kano Pillars and Etoile du Sahel, and their Confederations Cup victory over FC San Pedro on Monday.
Andy Yiadom (Reading, England)
Andy Yiadom played all four games for Ghana at the AFCON tournament. This season, he’s appeared in all 13 of Reading’s Championship matches scoring one goal and setting up three more for his teammates.
Lumor Agbenyenu (Real Mallorca, Spain)
Having played two matches at the AFCON, Lumor has gone on to make six appearances for his club side Real Mallorca in the Spanish Segunda this season.
Joseph Aidoo (Celta Vigo, Spain)
Joseph Aidoo is highly rated despite playing just one game at the 2019 AFCON.
At his club side, Celta Vigo this season, Aidoo has featured in all but one of their 10 league games this season.
Kassim Nuhu (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany)
Kasim Nuhu made three appearances at the AFCON, only missing Ghana’s final group game through suspension.
At club level, Nuhu has played in five of Fortuna Dusseldorf’s six Bundesliga games and also played in their only cup game. He has one goal so far, scoring the match-winner in their cup win.
Samuel Owusu (Al Fahya, Saudi Arabia)
Since his move to Saudi Arabia, Samuel Owusu has played nine league games, scoring one goal. He played a part in all four of Ghana’s games at the 2019 AFCON.
Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid, Spain)
Having been criticised for his performances at the 2019 AFCON, Thomas Partey has found another gear at Atletico Madrid.
He has been in such great form – particularly in the Madrid derby – that fans of the Premier League have been begging their clubs to sign the midfielder. He has played in 10 La Liga and 3 Champions League games, scoring once in each competition.
Mubarak Wakaso (Deportivo Alaves, Spain)
Wakaso has played 10 times in La Liga for Alaves this season and in typical Wakaso style, he’s picked up seven yellow cards. The combative midfielder continues to be an asset to the Black Stars and returns to the side after playing in all of Ghana’s games at the 2019 AFCON.
Andre Ayew (Swansea, England)
Despite speculation that Andre would opt to leave the Liberty Stadium in the summer, the forward stayed and has been fantastic all season. He has played 12 league games and one cup game, scoring three goals and picking up three assists in the former and netting one goal in the latter.
The captain of the Black Stars was not going to be left out.
Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace, England)
The star of Ghana’s 2019 AFCON campaign with two goals in four games, Jordan Ayew will definitely lead the line for the Black Stars against South Africa and Sao Tome.
Palace fans sing his name and Ghanaian fans will be hoping that they’ll have a reason to do the same in the two upcoming qualifiers.