Afcon 2021: Ghana coach Rajevac explains surprise Kudus call-up

Mohammed Kudus GhanaGetty Images

Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac is ready to wait for Ajax youngster Mohammed Kudus to regain fitness and potentially join the Black Stars at some point at the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon.

The 21-year-old, who has been out of action since picking up an injury while on international duty in November, was a surprise choice in the Serbian's final 28-man squad for the championship, particularly after joining his club for a mid-season training camp in Portugal on Monday.

His inclusion on the Afcon roster has generated confusion and debate alike about his involvement in the continental gathering.

"For this competition, we can register more than 23 players and we can go up to 28. We all know the quality of Mohammed Kudus and he is definitely the future of Ghanaian football and African football," Rajevac told Ghana Football Association media.

"He plays for a strong team in Europe for Ajax. So we know how much he can contribute to the team and we are ready to wait for him.

"At some stage in the tournament when we feel he is fit, he can step in and help the team because he has the quality.

“It is a big competition so we will monitor the situation about his injury and training, and we will see when he is fit. He is always competitive and motivated to play for the Black Stars so it is important to have him around."

Kudus has been a regular feature of Ghana's set-up since making his international debut in an Afcon qualifier against South Africa in 2019, scoring in the fateful game.

Interestingly in another match against South Africa two years later, this time around in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, the playmaker picked up a rib injury, resulting in his early substitution from the fixture.

He has since not played a game but having resumed full training with Ajax on Monday, he is expected to imminently get back into action.

At Afcon, Ghana have been drawn in Group C, alongside Morocco, Gabon and Comoros.