Former Ghana international Laryea Kingston has insisted that Black Stars captain Asamoah Gyan is still vital to the side despite his recent absence from the team's fold.
The 32-year-old hitman was excluded from coach Kwesi Appiah's 21-man squad list for the forthcoming international friendlies against Japan and Iceland.
The Kayserispor striker has not featured for the four-time Africa champions since withdrawing from the squad ahead of a 2018 FIFA World Cup against Congo last September.
Gyan's latest omission has sparked talks that his time with the team has come to a close, however Kingston is not buying into that assertion as he believes the former Sunderland ace still has a valuable role to play in the side before calling time on his illustrious career.
"Asamoah Gyan is a living legend in Ghana football," Kingston told KweseESPN.
"The things he has done in a Ghana shirt deserve nothing but respect.
"Whatever happens, he will be vital for the Black Stars as the coach tries to build a new team.
"He has unbelievable experience at this level and Appiah needs him around to guide the young ones. But it is obvious that everyone is preparing for a Black Stars team without him. That is what has to be done.
"You can tell that when he comes to the national team, he is saving himself for the big days.
"He doesn't train every day and it is obvious that they are managing him better because as he ages and the injuries set in more often, you need that.
"I don't know how long he can keep going, but I hope the team continues to make the most of him."
Gyan, who made his international debut in 2003, is Ghana's all-time top scorer, having racked in 51 goals in 106 games.
He is one of just two Ghanaian players to have played at three FIFA World Cup tournaments.