Johannesburg – With the latest reports emerging that Europe’s top clubs are threatening not to release their players for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) over fears surrounding the outbreak of Omicron variant, football fans are left with hesitation on who to watch next year.
The European Club Association, which represents leading clubs across the continent raised its grave concerns to Fifa in a leaked letter.
The Afcon which is scheduled to take place in Cameroon next year has been highly criticised by many, more especially with Liverpool’s coach Jurgen Klopp who came out in public to call the tournament a ‘little tournament’.
Klopp has been vocal during press conferences, that letting go of African stars and Liverpool’s duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane to the tournament will be absurd and irresponsible.
However, with the latest reports emerging that most performing players are unlikely to feature in the tournament, we take a look at players that will be favourites in Cameroon:
5. Kelechi Iheanacho
The Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho who plays for Leicester City was part of the Nigeria squad that won the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup and the Nigeria U-20 team at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
He made his senior debut for Nigeria in 2015, and played at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
He is the player on the main picture for the Super Eagles for next year’s Afcon.
4. Ismaël Bennacer
Ismaël Bennacer, Algerian professional footballer plays as a midfielder for Serie A club Milan and the Algeria national team.
Bennacer is a young promising star, who is eager to make his mark for the tournament next year, as he will eyeing to help his side, alongside his national mate, Riyaad Mahrez.
Both players are determined to snitch the Afcon to their home country.
3. Sadio Mane
The Senegalese and Liverpool winger Sadio Mane will be the most skillful player with a fastest pace to be watched during Afcon.
Has been a major reason for the success of Liverpool, alongside the Egyptian Mohammed Salah to end a 30-year drought at the Reds, when they scooped a league title. Will he take Senegal to its glory days by snitching a continental trophy next year?
2. Edouard Mendy
Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy dethroned his national teammate, Sadio Mane as the Senegalese Player of the Year this year.
He is rated as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, he put together a string of impressive performances for the Blues, as well as having played a key role in the club’s second Champions League success.
- Mohammed Salah
Hailed as the Egyptian King, Mohammed Salah, has been the most outrageous player during this era, and has been rated amongst best African players such as Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o and Yaya Toure.
He was also awarded best African player in Liverpool’s history.
His game is still going from strength to strength with many saying he is now the best in the world.
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