Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien was the surprise inclusion in Ghana’s 26-man squad for next month’s 2014 World Cup qualifier against Zambia.
Essien, who has not featured for the Stars since mid 2010 makes a return to the team just as the expected duo, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Andre Ayew.
Unlike Essien, who asked to be excused from the national team after recurring injuries, Boateng and Ayew formalized their return after officially notifying the Ghana Football Association (GFA) of their comeback.
The presence of the trio gives Stars coach Kwasi Appiah enough options for the crucial encounter which the hosts need at least a point to go through to the final round of the continental qualifiers.
Also in the squad are goalkeeper Razak Braimah of Spanish second-tier side Guadalajara and Yussif Rahman Chibsah of Sassoulo, who made their debuts in the friendly against Turkey in Istanbul two weeks ago.
Offensive midfielder, Frank Achemapong of the Black Satellites ‘class of 2013’ gets his stint with the team whilst striker Abdul Majeed Warris makes a return after sitting out of the double-header against Sudan and Lesotho last June due to injury.
Ghana will play Zambia on Friday, September 6 before travelling to Yokohoma to face Japan four days later in a friendly.
Goalkeepers: Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Adam Kwarasey (Stromgodset, Norway), Razak Braimah (Guadalajara, Spain)
Defenders: Samuel Inkoom (Dnipro, Ukraine), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege, Belgium), Harrison Afful (Esperance, Tunisia), Richard Kissi Boateng (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), John Boye (Rennes, France), Jonathan Mensah (Evian, France), Rashid Sumaila (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Mohammed Awal (Maritzburg United, South Africa)
Midfielders: Rabiu Mohammed (Kuban Krasnodar, Russia), Yussif Raman Chibsah (Sassuolo, Italy), Michael Essien (Chelsea, England), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus, Italy), Emmanuel Agyemang Badu (Udinese, Italy), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough, England), Solomon Asante (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Mubarak Wakaso (Espanyol, Spain), Christian Atsu (Porto, Portugal), Frank Acheampong (Anderlecht, Belgium)
Strikers: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain, UAE), Andre Ayew (Marseille, France), Kevin Prince Boateng (AC Milan, Italy), Abdul Majeed Waris (Spartak Moscow, Russia), Mahatma Otoo (Sogndal, Norway)