Ex-Ghana defender Samuel Inkoom believes the Black Stars are better off having an experienced player like Andre Ayew in the team.

Ayew is currently the longest-serving player in the national team, having made his international debut in 2007, and has risen to become the captain.

The Le Havre forward has, therefore, spent half of his life playing for the Black Stars and is Ghana’s most-capped player with 120 appearances.

Ayew’s status in the national team has, however, diminished in recent years, with the 34-year-old failing to start any game during Ghana’s disastrous 2023 AFCON campaign.

Andre Ayew
Andre Ayew

A section of the public has also called for him to be dropped entirely from the Black Stars, with some describing him as a player who’s past his best.

Inkoom – who rose through the ranks with Ayew, with both being key members of the Black Satellites side that won the 2009 U20 FIFA World Cup – believes Ghana still needs the former Marseille forward.

« I believe if you have a team, you need experienced ones and the young ones because the young ones cannot just come like that. You are supposed to have experienced ones inside the team who can motivate them and encourage them, » Inkoom told GHOne TV, as quoted by Ghanaweb.

« I don’t think at the moment we have to kick Andre Ayew or maybe the senior players out of the team. They have to be in the team, give the young ones confidence, and say a lot of encouraging stuff to them.”

Meanwhile, Ghana legend Asamoah Gyan has refused to be drawn into comparing his tenure as Black Stars captain with that of Ayew.

 Andre Ayew
Andre Ayew

Gyan captained the national team from 2014 to 2019 before then-coach Kwasi Appiah decided to hand the armband to Ayew.

Ayew has since captained the Black Stars to three AFCONs and one FIFA World Cup, although the team has exited at the group stage in each of their last three major tournaments.

Gyan, however, insists while his leadership style differs from that of Ayew, the Le Havre forward is a good leader nevertheless.

« Everyone has his style of leadership. Everyone saw what I did when I was the captain. And now it’s Andre’s time and his colleagues have gotten to know how he does his things, » he told Asempa FM, as quoted by Ghanaweb.

« Andre is a good leader. We’ve been in camp together before and while he was my assistant he showed signs of a good leader.

« Now it’s his era. At the end of the day, it’s like a debate and we don’t have a winner. But people know in their head who did what, so everyone has his opinion,” he added.