Fulham loanee Jerome Opoku’s excellent performances during his spell at Home Park have not gone unnoticed by his national side, Ghana.
The Black Stars made contact with the towering central defender about the possibility of joining the squad for their upcoming African Cup of Nations qualifiers against South Africa and Sao Tomé and Príncipe next week.
However, COVID-19-related challenges meant that a call-up would not be possible on this occasion, as is the case with many other Europe-based players during the pandemic.
With Ghana playing in red listed South Africa in the first of their two matches, Jerome would have been required to undergo a 10-day quarantine upon his return to the UK, and this was one of many hurdles standing between the defender and his first international cap.
Jerome said: “I am very proud. For me and my family it was a big thing, to be recognised by my country.
“It’s a difficult thing, not being able to go, but I think it is for the best. I have spoken to a lot of people, family, and friends in football, and the whole COVID situation is challenging – for everyone’s safety it’s the right option not to travel at this time.
“I think the call-up reflects my performances, and the progress I’ve made at Argyle. I am grateful to the club, the manager, and everyone around the team for helping me improve my game and gain national recognition.
“I would like to thank Ghana for presenting me with the opportunity, and hopefully there will be more to come.”
Argyle manager Ryan Lowe said: “Obviously, we’re very proud of Jerome, getting a first international call-up is an incredible achievement.
“Unfortunately, the circumstances have stopped him going because of the COVID situation, but we just want to congratulate him for his hard work while on-loan at Argyle.
“It is obviously a bittersweet moment for him, to be recognised by his country, but he should be very proud. I’m certain he’ll get the opportunity again in the near future.”
Jerome has made 27 appearances in Sky Bet League One this season, netting once – the equaliser in a 2-2 draw against Portsmouth at Home Park in November.