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Players to watch during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations
By on January 9th, 2022. Sports

On paper, this edition of the African Cup of Nations looks to be one of the best yet due to the tons of star players who will be involved in the tournament. As we all know, only one nation will walk home with the prestigious title. For more entertainment, who are the major star players to watch out for during the competition? Continue reading to find out!

Mohamed Salah – Egypt

Mohamed Salah is in the form of his life with his club Liverpool in England. He finished in seventh place in the 2021 Ballon d’Or. He won the African Ballon d’Or title in 2017 and 2021. His ambition will be to give Egypt the eighth continental title in their history.

Edouard Mendy – Senegal

Edouard Mendy has established himself as Chelsea’s undisputed number one since joining from Stade Rennais in 2020. With the Blues, he won the Champions League in 2021. He is quite simply one of the best goalkeepers in the world. The Senegalese will therefore serve as the back-up for the Lions of Teranga.

Amadou Haidara – Mali

At the age of 24, Amadou Haidara has become an important part of German club RB Leipzig. He is also a key part of the midfield for the Eagles of Mali, who are among the outsiders for the 2021 African Cup of Nations.

Karl Toko-Ekambi – Cameroon

Karl Toko-Ekambi is in very good form with Olympique Lyonnais. He scored the goal that qualified Cameroon for the 2022 World Cup play-offs. His quickness and speed give him a unique profile within the Indomitable Lions. He will be the main attacking threat in their attack.

Edmond Tapsoba – Burkina Faso

Despite a long injury that kept him out of action for several months, the Bayer Leverkusen player is one of the most sought-after defenders in Europe. Edmond Tapsoba is the leader of Burkina Faso’s defence, which will do its utmost to achieve as good a result as in 2013.

Franck Kessié – Ivory Coast

Franck Kessié is the boss of the Ivorian midfield. He has also been a fixture at AC Milan, his club since 2017. His calmness, vision and leadership will be an asset for the Ivorian team.

Kamaldeen Sulemana – Ghana

The Ghanaian international is in the process of revealing himself to Europe. Currently at Rennes, Sulemana is being watched by the biggest European clubs. His enthusiasm, speed and touch will bring a breath of fresh air to a team looking to return to the forefront and reach the semi-finals of the CAN again.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting

Choupo-Moting has become a leader in the Cameroon national team. Despite his limited playing time with Bayern Munich, the striker remains an important part of the Indomitable Lions team. At 32, he will be one of the most experienced Cameroonian players.

Sébastien Haller – Ivory Coast

A key figure with Ajax Amsterdam this season, particularly in the Champions League where he competes with the greatest strikers, Sebastien Haller will be the leader of the Elephants’ attack. The former Frankfurt player joined the Ivorian national team in 2020.

Riyad Mahrez – Algeria

Riyad Mahrez is the captain of Algeria’s title-winning team and is expected to be a key figure at the CAN. Despite some less than convincing performances for the national team in recent months, Algeria fans are expecting him to perform as well as he did with his club Manchester City. The goal for the 2016 African Golden Ball winner is to win the tournament.

Islam Slimani – Algeria

Islam Slimani is always present in the national team. Despite his status as a substitute for his club, Olympique Lyonnais, he will be one of the pillars of Algeria. Djamel Belmadi knows that he can always count on his striker, the best scorer in the history of the national team with 38 goals.

Sadio Mané – Senegal

A member of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool’s attacking firepower, Sadio Mané is one of the best strikers in the world. Captain of his national team, he is the main offensive asset of the Lions of Terranga. After the last two disappointing African Cup of Nations tournaments, he wants to finally lead his teammates to victory.

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