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Players Abroad: Atsu, Dede make cameos ahead of departure for Afcon

With matches in England still on-going, defying the Christmas break, Ghanaian players both in the Premiership and the championship as well as the lower tier made cameo appearances for their respective clubs before departing for Ghana camp.

West Ham United had their earlier requested to delay Andre Dede Ayew’s departure granted by the Ghana FA as they hosted Manchester United at home on match day 20. Dede made a second half appearance on the 89th minute for Manuel Lanzini but unfortunately could not turn things around as they lost by 0-2 to record their second defeat in three days.

The 27-year-old has been struggling off-late to gel with West Ham after his move from Swansea. He was recently vilified by the supporters of the club on twitter after his abysmal performance against Leicester City on Saturday.

Elsewhere at the Riverside Stadium, Daniel Amartey made his 17th appearance for Leicester City against Middlesborough on Monday afternoon. He lasted the entire duration as it ended goalless.

Elsewhere in the Championship, Christian Atsu, who is enjoying much playing time under Rafael Benitez in Newcastle saw five minutes of action in their away defeat to Blackburn Rovers. They however lost by a goal to nil.

Aston Villa, 12th placed on the league table, bowed to a 1-0 away against Cardiff City. Unfortunately, Jordan Ayew sat on the bench throughout the game for the visitors. He has scored two goals in 21 appearances for the Villains.

New boy Andy Yiadom continued with his impressive performance for Barnsley against Nottingham Forest in an away fixture. The left-full back played the entire game as they won by 0-1.

The remainder of the squad have arrived safely in UAE for a 12 day pre-tournament training after which the team will be pruned from 26 to 23. They will however engaged in two friendly matches before departing to Gabon on January 13.

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