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The Black Stars legend shares his thoughts on the 18-year-old’s international situation and future
Ghana legend Asamoah Gyan believes Roma sensation Felix Afena-Gyan was right to have turned down a national team call-up, adding the striker should not be rushed into the Black Stars set-up.
Afena-Gyan has been a revelation in Serie A since making his professional debut for Jose Mourinho’s side last month.
Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac wasted no time in handing the 18-year-old a call-up for their 2022 World Cup qualifying matches against Ethiopia and South Africa, the teenager having made only two first team appearances for Roma at the time.
“He is a very good player [but] I don’t think we need to rush Afena-Gyan. Whenever he comes on, he makes an impact but he needs time to play consistently, start games, build confidence, then he will be ready for the national team,” Gyan told Asempa FM.
“I have watched all his games he has played and I think he is the future for the Black Stars but we must admit that he is young and we must not rush him.
“Let us allow him to join the team at the right time. He has been impressive but rushing him into the Black Stars will not be helpful.
“I think he not joining the Black Stars was based on bad intension because I think he wants to develop himself and stay focused as well but I believe he will surely join the team at the right time with proper integration.”
Making his third first team appearance for Roma on Sunday, Afena-Gyan announced his arrival in style with two goals to ensure a 2-0 away victory over Genoa in Serie A.
Before the game, he opened up to the Italian media on the reasons for turning down the Ghana invitation.
“I felt it was too early for me to answer the call from the national team because I need to grow, physically but also mentally and psychologically” Afena-Gyan told Gianluca Di Marzio.
“I also thought it was important for me to stay in Trigoria to accumulate training under [Jose] Mourinho’s orders, to continue improving and growing.
“I have a lot of respect for my national team and I hope to be part of it in the future. The coach asked me if I would go and I told him I didn’t feel ready yet. But it was my decision. I thought it was premature for me to take such a step.”
Afena-Gyan could be called up by Ghana for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.