Coach Sarpong speaking on Utv, said Gyan is aware that he cannot play forever and thus has a clear idea when he would hang his boots when it comes to the national team.
“During the recent World Cup qualifier against Congo in Kumasi I spoke to Gyan and he confirmed to me that he was going to play at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and after that he will retire from the national team. I think the calls by people that he should retire are unfortunate, he himself will go when the time is right so Ghanaians must be patient for a little while.”
Calls have been growing incessantly in the last couple of months for Gyan to call it quits and pave way for younger once to get a chance in the national team.
Not long ago, Gyan confirmed that he was not perturbed by the calls for him to retire, adding that he will call it quits at his own, and God’s appointed, time.
Gyan, who is Ghana’s all-time record goal scorer with 51 goals, says he does not plan on playing forever, and admits a time will come when he has to hang his boots.
Speaking on Kumasi-based Angel FM, Gyan said: “No human being can force me into retirement because those who are calling for my retirement are not God. The decision on when to retire will be mine to make. Like every athlete, a time will come when I will tell myself that I have had enough. There’s time for everything and I, more than anyone know that my time in the Black Stars will end someday.”
Pressure has been mounting on Black Stars head coach Kwesi Appiah to stop inviting ‘old’ players into the team and rather give opportunities to younger and hungrier players in the wake of Ghana’s poor 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
The Black Stars are currently 3rd in Group E and are in grave danger of missing out on their first World Cup since 2006.
Gyan, who made his debut for the Black Stars, has been Ghana’s most reliable striker for over a decade now but a combination of injuries and age means he is not as sharp as he was once was.
The 31-year-old says he doesn’t mind starting from the bench and sharing his knowledge and experience with the younger ones who are coming through the ranks.
Gyan has played in three World Cups and has also played every Nations Cup since 2008.