Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde has voiced concerns over the impending absence of his star striker, Inaki Williams, who is set to participate in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Williams, having scored six league goals this season, will represent Ghana in the tournament scheduled from January 13 to February 11, 2024.
Valverde acknowledges that Williams’ departure will pose a significant challenge to the team, but he remains optimistic about their performance in his absence.
“Inaki is consistently in good form. By the time he heads to the AFCON, we’ll maintain our sharpness until at least December without any issues. We’ll feel his absence, but we’ll navigate through it and see how things unfold,” Valverde assured the media.
Ghana finds itself in Group B of the AFCON alongside Egypt, Mozambique, and Cape Verde. Williams aims to play a pivotal role in ending the Black Stars’ 41-year trophy drought.
Currently occupying fifth place in the La Liga standings, Athletic Bilbao seeks to sustain their form until Williams returns from the tournament. Having recently scored for Ghana, Williams aspires to make a significant impact for the Black Stars in Ivory Coast.