Ghana coach recalls Columbus Crew defender Harrison Afful for ‘immediate solutions’

Columbus Crew defender Harrison Afful has been recalled into the Ghana national team for the first time in two years in a move coach CK Akonnor describes as an immediate solution.

Afful, 34, who last played for the Black Stars in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia on November 18, 2018, was named in the squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sudan.

The Crew right-back was included in Ghana’s 23-man squad, bringing to an end a long absence from the national team.

“Afful Harrison is a player who comes with immediate solutions rather than a long-term one”, Black Stars coach CK Akonnor noted.

“For me, I am looking for immediate solutions and if you want to do that you don’t want to play around, you want to go straight to the point and therefore the immediate solutions are those guys”, he added.

The Black Stars will host Sudan at the Cape Coast Stadium on November 12 before flying to Khartoum for the reverse fixture on Tuesday, November 17.

Also making a return to the Black Stars are left-back Baba Abdul Rahman who currently trains with Chelsea reserve side, FC Metz defender John Boye and China-based Mubarak Wakaso. Conspicuously missing from the squad is Afful’s club teammate and Columbus Crew captain Jonathan Mensah.

The Black Stars coach also handed a debut call up to German-born, 19-year-old winger, Jamie Leweling. Leweling, who plays for German side Greuther Furth is one of the exciting young players who has emerged in German football.

Full Squad:

Goalkeepers: Richard Ofori (Orlando Pirates FC), Razak Abalora (Asante Kotoko SC), Lawrence Ati-Zigi (St Gallen)

Defenders: Baba Abdul Rahman (Chelsea FC), Gideon Mensah (Vitoria de Guimaraes), Afful Harrison (Columbus Crew FC), Anang Benson (MSK Zilina), Djiku Alexander (Strasbourg FC), John Boye (FC Metz), Nicholas Opoku (Amiens FC), Joseph Aidoo (Celta Vigo)

Midfielders: Partey Thomas (Arsenal FC), Baba Idrissu (RCD Mallorca), Mubarak Wakaso (Jiangsu Suning FC), Emmanuel Lomotey (Amiens FC)

Forwards/Wingers: Andre Ayew (Swansea City FC), Tariq Fosu (Brentford), Samuel Owusu (Al-Ahli Jeddah), Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace FC), Caleb Ekuban (Trabzonspor), Jamie Leweling (Greuther Furth), John Antwi (Pyramids FC), Jeffery Schlupp (Crystal Palace)
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Ghana coach recalls Columbus Crew defender Harrison Afful for ‘immediate solutions’