MIDDLESBROUGH winger Albert Adomah is at the centre of a storm over his World Cup call.
The Ghana international finished as Boro’s leading goalscorer last season, but an inclusion in his country’s provisional 30-man squad has sparked debate.
Ghana boss Kwesi Appiah has been forced to explain his reasoning for calling him into the initial pool, with accusations flying around that the decision was based on unexplained personal ties rather than football.
Appiah has strongly refuted the claims and has used Adomah’s performances at Boro as reason enough for him to be on the verge of appearing at the finals in Brazil this summer.
“I don’t joke with my work and therefore I don’t bring my personal sentiments in to my job,” said Appiah. “We currently don’t have a natural winger in the Black Stars squad to bring in the needed crosses.
“He is the only player who operates effectively on the wings and brings in a lot of crosses. He does that constantly at his club.
“Sometimes he is the only option we have in certain systems and tactics we play because of his unique attributes. He is very quick on the wings and a good crosser of the ball. We don’t have such a quality in abundance in the team.
“He has not been getting enough opportunities of late because nowadays we play two strikers but he remains a part of the team and as and when he is needed he will be called upon to play.”
Adomah was a regular for Middlesbrough during the last nine months, scoring 12 goals and supplying a number of goals from his deliveries and direct play down the flanks.
The 26-year-old has, though, been unable to force his way in to the Ghana starting line-up of late, but he has been prominent in Appiah’s squads since appearing for the Black Stars at the 2013 African Cup of Nations.
After turning in a couple of performances at club level which frustrated Boro boss Aitor Karanka, Adomah has shown a greater willingness to work in a defensive sense towards the end of the season.
That has encouraged Karanka and the Spaniard will not be in a rush to let the forward leave over the summer unless there was a sizeable offer lodged for his services in excess of the £1.2m paid to Bristol City for him last August.
Boro, expected to sell both Marvin Emnes and Lukas Jutkiewicz in the next few weeks, are looking to raise funds to reinvest in the squad and are in danger of missing out on one of their preferred attacking targets.
Cardiff City are understood to have met the £3m clause in Lewis Grabban’s contract having learned that Boro had made an early move for the 26-year-old.
Bournemouth are not resigned to losing the 22-goal striker, but could be powerless to prevent him from going if he pushes to complete a switch when he returns from holiday next week.