The African Cup of Nations is scheduled to begin in January and with the qualifications drawing to a close, the Premier League is set to miss out on some star names for a period of a month. Here, we take a look at the African bound players of the ‘other’ clubs.
Only midfielder Max Gradel, who has 44 caps for Ivory Coast and scored once in the qualifying campaign, should receive a call up from his country. Apart from him, Bournemouth will retain all players.
Attacking midfielder Bakary Sako is set to represent his country Mali in the AFCON. Also Senegalese left back Pape Souare is expected to get a call from his country.
The Toffees could be among the worst sufferers as a result of the AFCON. Summer signings Idrisse Gueye and Yannick Bolasie are expected to be called up by Senegal and DR Congo respectively. Apart from that, Oumar Niasse could also make the Senegal squad, although he barely featured in qualification. Ivorian Arouna Kone did not play at all for his country in the qualifiers, but should he get a surprise call up to the squad, it would severely deplete Everton.
Winger Ahmed Elmohamady could make the Egyptian squad. He did not play a minute of their qualifying campaign, but with 71 caps for his country, could well be an inclusion.
The defending champions are perhaps going to be the worst affected due to the tournament. Unsurprisingly, star player Riyad Mahrez and club record signing Islam Slimani will join the Algerian squad. Daniel Amartey and Jeffrey Schlupp are regulars in the Ghana squad and in all likeliness will be called up. What is worse, even Yohan Benalouane could get a call from Tunisia. On the bright side though, with Nigeria’s inability to qualify, Ahmed Musa will be available.
New record signing Sofiane Boufal could make Morocco’s squad, but he has just two caps to his name. So, they look relatively safe.
New signing Wilfred Bony is a certainty to make the Ivory Coast squad, and if, at Stoke, he turns out to be the fine player that he is, he will be sorely missed. Striker Mame Biram Diuof and winger Ramadan Sobhi could also be called up for Senegal and Egypt respectively.
Another team who could be hard hit by the tournament is Sunderland. Lamine Kone is a likely call-up for Senegal while Wahbi Khazri should make the Tunisia squad. Gabon international Didier Ndong and Senegalese Papy Djilobodji, who together cost £21.6 million, will also not be available.
Watford are set to lose three players – Nordin Amrabat of Morocco, Adlene Guedioura of Algeria and summer signing Brice Dja Djedje of Ivory Coast.
Right back Allan Nyom is expected to receive a call from Cameroon. He has 14 caps for his country, and featured a couple of times in qualifying.
The Hammers are set to miss out on some key players with winger Sofiane Feghouli expected to represent Algeria, Cheikou Kouyate and Diafra Sakho representing Senegal and club record signing Andre Ayew linking up with Ghana, provided he gets over his injury.