Sports News of Thu, 23 Aug 20187
'Ageing' Asamoah's services still needed by Ghana – Lamptey
Former Ghana international Nii Odartey Lamptey believes Inter Milan midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah still has a lot to offer the Black Stars amid concerns about the timing of the playmaker's return for national duty.
The 29-year-old is a notable name in Ghana's 21-man squad announced for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Kenya in Nairobi on September 8.
While the news has been largely greeted with joy, a minority believes Asamoah is returning at a time when his career has hit its twilight. He asked to be excused from national duty due to a series of persistent career injuries between 2014 and 2016.
"I won't judge him [Asamoah] on that [timing of his return]. There are a lot of things involved in playing football," Lamptey told Zylofon FM.
"Maybe at the time of his absence, he felt that was the time to be out. Or maybe, should he have forced himself to play, there were so many things [that could have happened].
"The decision obviously is by him, but for me, from what I have seen in Kwadwo Asamoah, even if he is ageing, there is a lot he's got to offer the national team."
Asamoah's comeback marks the end of a four-year absence from the Black Stars, having last featured for the four-time African champions in September 2014.
Having seemingly regained fitness ahead of the 2017 Afcon, he was considered for the tournament, but the then Juventus man asked to be excused to allow him time to fight for his place in the Old Lady's set-up.
"I don't see anything wrong with that even if people are saying he went out and is returning when he is ageing," Lamptey continued.
"His services will be needed from now until Kwesi Appiah believes there is someone out there better than him.
"I saw his performance for Inter Milan on the opening day [of the Italian Serie A on Sunday] and I was impressed with that."
Aside from featuring for Ghana at multiple Afcons, Asamoah has represented the Black Stars at two Fifa World Cup tournaments - in 2010 and 2014.