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One of the biggest quandaries of Avram Grant when taking charge of the Black Stars was to find an extra attacking dimension and end product to a side which had loads of potential in midfield and heavily reliant on a skipper with a proven international knack for goals.
Twenty games into his job, and the Israeli manager can confidently boast of a record which has seen his team not score only 1.75 goals per game, but a variety of goal scorers to lessen the burden on Asamoah Gyan.
Avram Grant’s team have scored 35 goals in his 20 matches and guess what? Asamoah Gyan has scored only three out of these 35 goals.
The impressive winner against Algeria and a brace against Mauritius in June 2015.
Injuries have forced Gyan to sit out Ghana’s games since November 2015, but it has afforded Grant the chance to try new partnerships which have yielded results.
Grant paired Majeed Warris with Jordan Ayew for Ghana’s 3-1 win over Mozambique in Accra, while employing Jordan as the lone striker in a 4-1-4-1 (4-3-3) three days later in Maputo.
Despite this great attacking numbers, Grant is yet to fully have an established front pairing as he has had in defence and midfield. Mubarak Wakaso and Afriyie Acquah are undisputedly the first choice central midfield pairing while John Boye and Jonathan Mensah continue to pair each other in the heart of defence.
This, was confirmed by Avram himself.
“So it is not a secret, we are short of strikers in Ghana. There are lot of midfield players and when Asamoah Gyan and Warris are not playing, we did not have a lot of opportunities.”
In Ghana’s last game against Mauritius, Grant paired Jordan Ayew with his brother Andre Ayew, a partnership which saw the latter opening the scoring for Ghana.
Andre’s contribution impressed Grant whose comments after the game might well suggest he may be keeping the Swansea man up top for future assignments.
“Dede Ayew played this role in his team in Swansea in the last month and scored in almost every game.”
“Dede did well in this position and even scored and that is good.”
These comments come on the back of an earlier one by the Israeli who believes to have the core of his squad well in place and will not be moved to easily switch them around.
The only player to really breakthrough his preferred team since the AFCON in 2015 has been Anderlecht winger Frank Acheampong who has added more pace and trickery to his team.
“The door is opened to everybody but the most important thing is that we have a good base, the players that did well in the African Cup and they continue to do well.”
“If there will be any name that will be better than the players I have now, I will take them.”
With Kwadwo Asamoah set to join the Black Stars sooner rather after recovering from an injury, Grant’s midfield options are set to increase making the possibility of seeing Andre Ayew playing through the middle of attack more likely.
Dede is no stranger to the central berth leading the line effectively for his Premier League side Swansea under Francesco Guidolin. High workrate, intensity and most especially a fantastic eye for goal makes him an ideal candidate for Ghana and Avram Grant as we aim to end our 33 year wait for an AFCON trophy.