Asamoah Gyan's resignation ahead of AFCON; a blessing or disadvantage

Black Stars skipper Asamoah Gyan has officially called time on his international career. The 33-year-old announced his decision to quit the national team on Monday, May 20, 2019 under controversial circumstances.

Kwesi Appiah and Asamoah Gyan

In a statement, the Kayserispor striker said he is retiring from the Black Stars after being told that he will be stripped off the captaincy ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

"If the decision of the coach is to give captaincy of the tournament to another player while I am named in the team of the tournament, I wish to recuse myself from the tournament,” portions of the statement read.

While Gyan’s retirement has become a major talking point among the majority of Ghanaians, the other side is how this could affect Ghana’s preparations for the AFCON.

Gyan’s retirement a blessing?

Asamoah Gyan is one of the most prolific strikers ever to emerge from Ghana. The 33-year-old is Ghana’s all-time top scorer with 51 goals and has played at every AFCON tournament since 2008.

However, to everything there is a season. He may have proved to be key in previous tournaments, but there is no doubt that Gyan is in the twilights of his career.

He is no longer as quick and as lethal as he used to be. Age has finally caught up with him and perhaps the technical handlers of the Black Stars should take advantage of his retirement to give a chance to other hungry players.

Since Gyan made his Black Stars debut in 2003, he has been the leading striker in the team. He has duly paid his dues too by putting his body on the line each time he wore the national jersey.

Currently, he is Ghana’s most capped player, but perhaps the team should also learn to move on. Fortunately, there are other young Ghanaian forwards coming up who also deserve the chance.

The likes of Caleb Ekuban and John Antwi are doing very well at club level and could be groomed to become Gyan’s successor, starting with the AFCON 2019 in Egypt.

The disadvantage of Gyan’s retirement

Asamoah Gyan’s retirement from the national team will inevitably have an effect on the Black Stars ahead of the AFCON.

Having captained the team since 2012, Asamoah Gyan's role as the leader of the playing body is not in doubt. And although he has struggled with fitness issues in the past few years, his goalscoring record towers above all the prospective strikers Ghana is likely to send to the tournament.

It must also be said that the timing of Gyan's retirement is likely to have some strong repercussions on the playing body. There are section of the players that swings towards him as the captain, therefore his absence is likely to bring a deep rooted division in the team.

Since making his debut at the 2006 AFCON in Egypt, Gyan has played in all the subsequent tournaments for Ghana and his experience will be very much needed if Ghana are to break their trophy duck at the tournament.