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Ghana’s Afcon 2023 Dilemma: Partey and Lamptey in preliminary squad despite lingering injuries

Ghana have included injured Premier League players Thomas Partey and Tariq Lamptey in their preliminary squad for the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), raising questions about their fitness ahead of the tournament.

Partey, the 30-year-old Arsenal midfielder, has been sidelined since October due to a hamstring injury, limiting his appearances to only five matches this season.

Despite doubts about his availability for Arsenal’s upcoming games against Liverpool, West Ham, Fulham, and an FA Cup clash with Liverpool on January 7, it is speculated that Partey could return to action just before heading to Afcon.

Ghana’s campaign at the Afcon kicks off on January 14 against Cape Verde, followed by group-stage matches against Egypt and Mozambique. If the Black Stars progress deep into the tournament, Partey could be absent from Arsenal duty until mid-February.

Ghana coach Chris Hughton, the former Ireland international and ex-Brighton boss, announced a 55-man preliminary squad for the tournament on Wednesday.

The squad includes other England-based players, such as West Ham’s Mohammed Kudus and Crystal Palace’s Jordan Ayew.

Despite extensive injuries affecting their recent performances, the provisional squad also includes Tariq Lamptey of Brighton and Hove Albion and Kamaldeen Sulemana of Southampton. Lamptey, who hasn’t played for the Black Stars since the 2022 Fifa World Cup, is facing an extended recovery, while Sulemana’s return remains uncertain.

Teams participating in Afcon have until January 3, 2024 to finalize their squads, with only 23 players eligible for each matchday squad.

 

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