Black Stars Coach, James Kwesi Appiah has disclosed why he recently recalled midfielder Mubarak Wakaso to join the national team squad to face Egypt in Ghana’s final qualifier match for the 2018 World Cup coming up at the Cape Coast Stadium on Sunday, November 12.
Recall that Mubarak Wakaso has not been featured in any of the Black Stars squad since after the 2017 African Cup of Nations in Gabon. The midfielder was however, handed a call-up ahead of the imminent Black Stars face-off with the Pharaohs.
Wakaso’s recall had raised slight eyebrows here and there, compelling Coach Appiah to offer some explanations for his action. Speaking to Graphic Sports in a recent interview, the second-time Black Stars Coach pointed out that he was left with no other option than to include Mubarak in the Egypt squad as the team is running short of midfielders due to injuries.
“Wakaso plays as a defensive midfielder and, at the moment Afriyie Acquah is returning from injury and Alfred Duncan is injured, so automatically I only have Attamah Lawerh… I need to bring someone who I know already can play that role,” he added.
Speaking further, Kwesi Appiah remarked that he is also seizing the Ghana vs Egypt clash as an opportunity to try out some potential players for the 2019 AFCON team. Meanwhile, the Egypt-Ghana match, no matter its outcome, will completely be of non-effect as regards Ghana’s qualification for Russia 2018, as Egypt has already secured the sole Group G ticket.
About Mubarak Wakaso
Mubarak Wakaso is a 27-year-old Ghanaian international footballer who currently plays as a defensive midfielder for the Ghana national team and Spanish La Liga club, Deportivo Alaves.
Wakaso was trained as a youth player at Tema-based S.C. Adelaide. He later commenced his senior career in 2007 at Ashanti Gold S.C where he spent only one season, leaving for Spanish club Elche C.F in 2008. Since then, the Ghanaian player has spent most of his years at the Spanish side, with few contracts at other league clubs as well as intermittent loan spells.
Wakaso joined Alaves on a three-year deal on 17th July, 2017 after mutually terminating his uncompleted three-year contract with Greece club Panathinaikos F.C. Since after joining the Spanish side once again, Mubarak has been showing off great form. It is believed that his recent brilliant performances for Deportivo contributed to his recall to the Black Stars squad.
Coming to playing for his country, Wakaso for the first time, represented Ghana at the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Peru. He later made his debut for the senior team in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Malawi on 13 October 2012. He subsequently scored his first goal for Ghana in a friendly with Cape Verde on 14 November 2012.