Squad for AFCON 2021 qualifiers: Know the seven debutants

Source Joy sports

Coach Kwesi Appiah has released his first Black Stars squad since the unceremonious defeat to Tunisia at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

The general consensus from most Ghanaian football fans was to use this opportunity to rebuild the personnel for the senior national team.

The 23-man Black Stars squad set to face South Africa and Sao Tome in the 2021 AFCON qualifiers include seven new names.

New names that don’t need call-ups but game time to show what they are made of. Previously, Kwesi Appiah has failed to give new players the opportunity to play when they are called up.

Nonetheless, the new set of debutants do possess the skill and experience to make an immediate impact if given the chance.

Razak Abalora – Azam FC

Razak Abalora

Azam FC goalkeeper Razak Abalora has been included in Ghana’s squad for the first time after his scintillating performances in the Tanzanian Premier League and the CAF Confederations Cup.

The WAFA graduate joined Azam FC in 2017 and helped them win the Kagame Interclub Cup in 2018.

A few years ago, Abalora was the first choice keeper for the Black Stars B, now the 23-year-old shot-stopper has to battle it out with Richard Ofori and Felix Annan.

Mohammed Salisu – Real Valladolid

Mohammed Salisu

A breakthrough season for the 20-year-old as his consistent performances in La Liga has seen him receive a debut call-up for the Black Stars.

The central defender has been a key feature in Valladolid’s defence this season playing 11 games so far whilst keeping three clean sheets in the process.

Salisu, who was promoted from Valladolid B to the senior side last year has been on the rise since.

Iddrisu Baba – Real Mallorca

Iddrisu Baba

Just a week ago, Iddrisu Baba mentioned he is looking forward to making his debut for Ghana.

The inclusion of Baba in the Ghana squad was imminent considering how well he has performed in La Liga this season. The 23-year-old has emerged as a standout player in the middle of the park for Real Mallorca.

After successive loan moves, the hard-tackling midfielder is finally settling at Mallorca with 10 games under his belt this season.

Christopher Antwi-Adjei – SC Paderborn

Christopher Antwi-Adjei

Born in Germany, Christopher Antwi-Adjei pledged his allegiance to Ghana and will have the chance to show what he is truly made of.

The winger has played for Westfalia Herne, TSG Sprockhövel and SC Paderborn in the last six years scoring 36 goals.

Antwi-Adjei only became a professional player at age 23 after signing for Paderborn and just two years later, he will have the chance to represent his country Ghana.

This season, he has been consistent, making 11 appearances in all competitions and has netted a goal.

Mohammed Kudus – FC Nordsjaelland

Kudus Mohammed

Mohammed Kudus represents a breath of fresh air in the attacking department as Ghana attempts to find the heir to Asamoah Gyan’s throne.

Kudus, 19, has been in good form this season scoring four goals in 10 appearances for Nordsjaelland this season.

The forward who graduated from Right to Dream academy last year has been linked with some top European clubs after impressing in his debut season.

Kudus was a member of Ghana’s 2017 U-17 World Cup squad and also featured for Black Satellites at this year’s Africa U-20 Cup of Nations tournament.

Shafiu Mumuni – Ashgold FC

Shafiu Mumuni

The absence of local football hasn’t prohibited the inclusion of Ashgold striker Shafiu Mumuni who has shone whenever given the chance.

The captain of the Black Stars B team netted four times at the recent WAFU Cup of Nations to finish as top scorer.

Earlier this year, Mumuni scored a hat trick against Akonangui FC in the qualification stages of the CAF Confederations Cup as well.

Torric Jibril – TP Mazembe

A name that resonates so well with ardent followers of the Ghana Premier League. Torric Jibril formerly of Hearts of Oak now plies his trade with TP Mazembe.

Torric Jibril

After making his debut for the Black Stars B against Niger at just age 15, a lot was expected from Jibril. However, a series of bad transfers saw the attacking midfielder play eight clubs after leaving Hearts in 2011.

The 28-year-old is currently rediscovering himself in Congo with TP Mazembe scoring one goal and providing four assists in eight appearances this season.

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