Who will be missed most by their clubs whilst at AFCON?
With the African Cup of Nations underway, I thought I’d take a look at who will be missed the most by their clubs whilst on international duty with their respective nations.
There was no way this man wouldn’t be at the top of my list, the Senegalese international has been influential to Liverpool’s impressive campaign and has looked fantastic throughout. His extreme pace and energy will be a big miss for Liverpool who have reaped the rewards courtesy of Mane’s excellent performances since his summer move from Southampton.
Kouyate has been one of West Ham’s best players this season, whether it be in defence or midfield, his energy when in midfield allows him to burst away at speed when attacking and get back to defend. Without Kouyate in their ranks, the West Ham faithful will have to watch slow buildup play with little energy in the midfield which will have a negative effect on their performances and may have a massive factor on where the Hammers finish this season.
The Ivorian has been key to any minor success Palace have had this season, without his creativity, speed and his ability to cause danger, Sam Allardyce’s men may struggle to create as many chances without Zaha in his side.
The Egyptian has been fantastic since arriving in North London from FC Basel last season, Elneny is a player that goes under the radar in terms of praise, however, always does a good job of protecting the Arsenal back line.
The Ghanian winger will no doubt be a huge miss for Newcastle United during the African Cup of Nations. The absence of his pace and skill when on the ball will hinder the Magpies threat down the flanks when going forward and with a huge month ahead, his driving force that scares defenders every week will be a huge dent in their play.
Another Newcastle player featuring is central midfielder Mohamed Diame. The Senegalese midfielder didn’t have the greatest of starts up North but over the past few weeks he has been gaining himself some form and getting himself into the Geordie’s good books. Diame offers a really good physical presence and has an amazing workload/engine which often forces defences back, allowing his teammates to enter the attack. However, due to the AFCON, Newcastle will not have that threat. Over the course of January, which is undeniably Newcastle’s most important month of the season, they will have to cope without Mo Diame’s dominating presence and hope they won’t be too hurt by his absence.