Gyan is Ghana's best striker - Appiah
In his strongest statement of support yet for his captain, Ghana boss Kwesi Appiah says Asamoah Gyan is the country's best striker at the moment.
The striker thumped in an early goal to start a 3-0 win against Niger on Monday, and silenced his critics with a busy performance on the day - he scored one and assisted in the other two goals that were scored.
"Asamoah Gyan is my captain and for me all the games he has been playing I am really satisfied with him," Appiah said at a press conference on Tuesday.
With 21 games in 13 games for his club, Asamoah was under pressure to continue his form at national level. Games against DR Congo and Mali showed a player who could not score, but whose contribution to the team was appreciable.
"Sometimes you look at the game and it is not about the player himself," Kwesi Appiah said, hinting at the role he had given Gyan in those two games.
The boss went on: "Sometimes how he assists, how he draws people out and attract opponents so he creates opportunities for others. It is not every day that a player may have his day but the most important thing is that player may have some qualities that other players don’t have so."
Asamoah Gyan had said of himself that he was playing a sacrificial role in the team, something Kwesi Appiah reiterated. "In that aspect you keep him in the team for other players to work around him."
The 27 year old then got emphatic backing from his coach, with the caveat that he could do better.
"Saying that, I personally believe in our country now, he is the best striker we have at the moment and yesterday for me he did well but I still believe he can do better than he did."
Asamoah Gyan could make more history for himself in a Ghana shirt should he get two more goals in this tournament. He would then become joint-top scorer in the history of the Black Stars, alongside the legendary Abedi Pele's thirty three (33) goals.
Despite his show against Niger that won him the official Fair Play award, Gyan does not have an automatic place against his side's next opponents, Cape Verde, on Saturday.