Picking a Dream Team of Ghanaians to play in the English Premier League
Who would make an all-time best XI of Black Stars in the history of the English Premier League?
Goalkeeper: Richard Kingson
Kingson enjoyed four years in the English game, representing Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic and, most notably, Blackpool.
He’s a legend in his homeland, having amassed 90 caps for the Black Stars including the 2006 and 2010 World Cup campaigns.
He was also part of the side that finished runners-up at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2010.
Right-back: John Paintsil
Flag-waving full-back who struggled at West Ham United and Leicester City but was a big hit during three seasons at Fulham.
The highlight of the defender’s time in London was his contribution to their seventh-placed finish in 2009, and he was an unused substitute in the Europa League final defeat by Atletico Madrid a year later.
The defender won 89 caps for the Black Stars, and was part of the 2010 World Cup quarter-finalists.
Centre-back: Daniel Amartey
The versatile defender joined Leicester City midway through their miraculous title-winning season, making five appearances as the Foxes got over the line.
He made 24 outings in the league the season after, as things unravelled under Claudio Ranieri, and his progress has been undermined by injury in his subsequent seasons.
Can he turn things around under Brendan Rodgers this time around?
Centre-back: John Mensah
A powerful centre-back, also a member of the World Cup stars of 2010, Mensah enjoyed a brief loan move to Sunderland in 2009 following six years in French football with Stade Rennais and Olympique Lyonnais.
Injuries affected Mensah’s progress at the Stadium of Light, prompting Steve Bruce to ultimately opt not to hand him a permanent deal.
Mensah missed the decisive penalty in the quarter-final shootout as Ghana were defeated by Uruguay.
Left-back: Jeffrey Schlupp
Another title winner with Leicester, Schlupp had played a key role under Nigel Pearson the season before as the Foxes had steered clear of relegation in dramatic fashion.
He subsequently struggled to settle in the East Midlanders’ first team, but after moving to Crystal Palace, has further shown his qualities in the Premier League.
Like a few other players on this list, injuries have limited his progress.
Midfielder: Thomas Partey
The new kid on the block, Partey became the most expensive Ghanaian arrival to the Premier League when Arsenal paid his £45 million release clause to snare him from Atletico Madrid.
With experience of playing in the Champions League final, and capable of controlling the midfield, Partey should help Mikel Arteta solve a problem area for the Gunners.
An FA Cup winner with Portsmouth in 2008, as a fine team defeated Cardiff City at Wembley, Muntari arrived in English football after making over a century of appearances for Udinese in the Italian top flight.
After thriving in Pompey, he was snapped up by Jose Mourinho’s Internazionale, with the Special One identifying Muntari as his ideal Plan B after failing to recruit Frank Lampard from Chelsea.
The Black Star would go on to win the Champions League with the Nerazzurri.
Midfielder: Michael Essien
Another Mourinho favourite, Essien worked alongside the Portuguese coach at Chelsea before joining him at Real Madrid.
The Bison had already won the French title with Olympique Lyonnais before signing for the Blues, where he’d go on to prove himself as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League—and win more titles.
In 2012, he was an unused substitute as Chelsea won the Champions League title, although by this point, injuries had taken their toll on his career, and the powerhouse surely missed out on achieving more with the capital club.
Forward: Tony Yeboah
Yeboah is undoubtedly one of the greatest footballers Ghana has produced.
He twice made it into the top three for the African Footballer of the Year award, and he was voted ninth in the Fifa World Player of the Year award in 1993.
Yeboah was named Leeds United Player of the Year and Ghana Player of the Year in 1996 and 1997.
He may have never won any continental titles with the Black Stars, but his contribution was immense as his side finished as runners-up at the 1992 event and fourth in 1996.
Forward: Asamoah Gyan
The hero of the run to the quarters in 2010, and Ghana’s top goalscorer of all time, Gyan was a BBC African Footballer of the Year in 2014, during a trophy-laden spell in the United Arab Emirates.
He only spent one season in the Premier League, with Sunderland, before moving on to Al-Ain, with many left wanting much more from Baby Jet.
Gyan, now 34, is a free agent after leaving India’s NorthEast United earlier this year.
Forward: Jordan Ayew
Currently the all-time highest Ghanaian goalscorer in the Premier League, Jordan has bounced back after relegations with Aston Villa and Swansea City.
His endeavour endeared him—for a time at least—to Swans fans, and he’s eventually won over Crystal Palace fans with his self-sacrificing performances in South London.
He netted nine goals in the top flight last term, stepping up when the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke failed to deliver.
Christian Atsu, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Andre Ayew, Nii Lamptey, Abdul Rahman Baba