AFCON 2017 in Gabon
It’s been a couple of interesting days in Africa, as several nations have booked their spots for the next African Cup of Nations in January 2017.
AFCON 2017 will be held in Gabon, starting in the middle of January.
The competition lasts for five weeks, meaning that several Premier League sides will be without some key players during this period.
Who has qualified?
Over the weekend, the Ivory Coast booked their place in Gabon.
That means that Manchester United defender Eric Bailly is likely to leave Old Trafford for at least a month in the New Year, as he represents his country at the games.
Other Ivorians who may leave the Premier League to play in the competition include Stoke’s Wilfried Bony, Man City’s Yaya Toure, Sunderland’s Lamine Kone and Bournemouth’s Max Gradel.
Elsewhere, Algeria have also qualified for AFCON 2017.
That means the reigning Premier League champs are set to lose Riyad Mahrez and summer signing Islam Slimani at the turn of the year.
Sticking with the Foxes, Claudio Ranieri is also set to lose Jeff Schlupp and Daniel Amartey after Ghana qualified for the competition.
The Ghana squad may also include West Ham’s Andre Ayew.
Everton are also poised to lose key players. Summer signings Idrissa Gueye and Yannick Bolasie are off to the African Cup of Nations after Senegal and DR Congo also qualified.
Crystal Palace may lose a couple of players too. Bakary Sako should represent Mali, and Pape N’Diaye Souaré should feature for Senegal.
Senegal may also call up West Ham’s Cheikhou Kouyate, Stoke’s Mame Biram Diouf and Liverpool forward Sadio Mane.
Other Premier League players heading for AFCON 2017 include Cameroon and West Brom defender Allan Nyom, Watford and Morocco forward Nordin Amrabat, Egypt will call up Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny and Stoke’s Ramadan Sobhi, and Tunisia have Sunderland’s Wahbi Khazri.