2023 AFCON: Why Thomas Partey is not in final squad
AL RAYYAN, QATAR – NOVEMBER 28: Thomas Partey of Ghana controls the ball during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group H match between Korea Republic and Ghana at Education City Stadium on November 28, 2022 in Al Rayyan, Qatar. (Photo by Manuel Reino Berengui/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Black Stars head coach, Chris Hughton has explained why Thomas Partey has been dropped from Ghana’s squad for the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament.
Partey, having featured against Mexico and USA in the October international window has not featured in any game for club and country.
The midfielder suffered a hamstring injury which kept him out of Ghana’s first two games of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Madagascar and Comoros.
Partey last featured for Arsenal in their 1-0 win against defending champions, Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium.
Having been named in the provisional 55-man squad, Partey, who is the deputy captain of the Black Stars has been left out of the final squad.
Speaking to the media after announcing the final squad, Hughton said Partey’s full recovery from his current injury would not be in time for him to join Ghana’s squad for the AFCON.
“Thomas Partey is one of our most important players. Without his injury, he certainly would be in the squad, we know the quality of player that he is. This is a player that suffered a substantial injury,” the former Premier League manager said.
”I’ve spent a lot of this period of time with Thomas and also engaged with the medical staff at Arsenal. They will treat this injury with caution and so will the player. This is a big injury for him, the biggest injury he’s had.
“The most important thing for me as head coach is to give him the support he needs during this period of time. From all the information we’ve been given, the timelines of his recovery and the caution that will be taken, [his recovery] will not meet our timelines for the AFCON.
Ghana’s central midfield options for the AFCON consist of Salis Samed, Baba Iddrisu, Elisha Owusu, Majeed Ashimeru and Kumasi Asante Kotoko’s captain, Richmond Lamptey.
Meanwhile, the Black Stars will open camp on Tuesday, January 2 in Kumasi and will take on Namibia in a friendly game before jetting off to Ivory Coast on January 10.
Ghana is in Group B for the tournament that will kick off from January 13 to February 11 and will face Cape Verde, Egypt and Mozambique in the tournament which will be hosted in Ivory Coast next year.
The Black Stars of Ghana will first come up against Cape Verde at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan on January 14, 2024, then face Egypt at the same venue four days later and then Mozambique at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium on January 22, 2024.