New Arsenal signing Thomas Teye Partey has arrived in the camp of the Ghana national football team, The Black Stars, at the Xanthe Resort and Spa in Antalya, Turkey.
The 27-year-old midfielder who moved to English Premier League side Arsenal in a £45million deal from Spanish club Atlético Madrid on transfer deadline day has joined his colleagues in camp ahead of Ghana’s International friendlies against Mali and Qatar.
Also joining the team in the camp are Kassim Nuhu, Alexander Djiku, Bernard Mensah, Joseph Aidoo and Tarique Fosu who was handed a late call up by Coach C.K Akonnor. Their arrivals increase the number of players to nineteen. Coach C.K Akonnor on Tuesday, October 06, 2020, held his first training session with the squad at the Emir Sports complex in Antalya, Turkey.
Akonnor who will be taking charge of his first match in charge of the Black Stars will miss the services of four players invited for the games.
First choice goalie and deputy captain, Richard Ofori of South African side, Maritzburg United is out due to constraints in visa acquisition.
Sporting Lisbon left-back Lumor Agbenyenu and in-form striker John Antwi of Pyramids FC in Egypt may also miss the game under similar circumstances.
Ajax Amsterdam midfielder Kudus Mohammed is also out of the squad after suffering an injury and was absent from the Ajax starting team that played against FC Groningen in the Dutch Eredivisie over the weekend.
Akonnor has decided not to call up a replacement for Ofori and will stick with the goalkeeping pair of Lawrence Ati Zigi and Razak Abalora for both games. Ati-Zigi made his senior national team debut for Ghana, starting and playing 90 minutes in a friendly match against Iceland that ended in a 2–2 draw. The St. Gallen of Switzerland keeper is in line to win only his third cap if he plays on Friday and admitted that the team training has been of the highest level.
“It was a little bit intense because I traveled yesterday and I came at dawn, so it was exhausting but, a very good training,” he said.
“It’s a great opportunity for me. I just have to stay focussed and work hard and hopefully everything is going to be fine and we see the way forward.
“It’s actually a different group of players. Here, there are totally different players from different clubs so it’s not really the same compared to my club. But seeing the quality of players we have here, I think we going to a have a great game and a great time here.
“It’s an important game for us and we have to focus on this game, take everything serious, stay together and we will have a great game ” Ati Zigi added.
The team will hold another training on Wednesday as preparations continue for Friday’s game against the Eagles of Mali before they battle Qatar three days later in Antalya, Turkey.
The two games form part of Ghana’s preparations ahead of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualification games in November against Sudan.