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The former Fulham fullback shares his thoughts on the West Africans’ 23-man roster unveiled for October’s friendly against Mali

Former Ghana defender John Paintsil believes China-based midfielder Mubarak Wakaso is still in the plans of Black Stars coach CK Akonnor despite his absence from a 23-man squad announced for October’s friendly fixture against Mali.

The Jiangsu Suning player was among the most notable men sidelined for the October 9 showdown, together with the likes of Fiorentina midfielder Alfred Duncan, Newcastle United winger Christian Atsu, Metz captain John Boye and veteran striker Asamoah Gyan.

The upcoming match will help Ghana test their strength ahead of the resumption of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers in November.

“For me, I think there’s something we need to change a little with regards to our national call-ups,” Paintsil told Hello FM.

“When the head coach is naming his squad, there has to be a press conference so that the media can get the opportunity to ask why certain players are missing and report to the public the way it was discussed at the press.

“Wakaso is a key player in the team, so there is no way the coach will not speak to him before releasing the list.

“With the experience I have, I know that the two of them have talked about it and Wakaso have agreed to reasons why he is not in the team because he is not injured. The coach knows he’s performing as well.

“Unless he’s not in the plans of the coach or the coach wants to look at new players [he would have been spoken to] since it’s a friendly match because Wakaso is a senior player.”

Wakaso made his full international debut for Ghana in 2012 and has gone on to represent the Black Stars at the 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019 Afcon tournaments.

He was also a member of Ghana’s squad at their controversial 2014 World Cup campaign in Brazil.

“There are some matches the coaches give respect to certain players by telling them they want to try different players at their positions so that in case they are not around they will quickly fit in,” Paintsil said.

“I think they might have discussed something like these that is why he’s not in the team.”

Wakaso transferred to Jiangsu Suning from Spanish La Liga club Deportivo Alaves in January. 

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September 28, 2020
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