As Africa prepares
for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), they are recalling their star players back to their respective African teams. In the event, their Premier League teams are likely to suffer their absence.
Liverpool will seriously miss their Sadio Mane, who has been a key player in the run Liverpool has made under Jurgen Klopp’s leadership to the second placing in Premier League Table standings. The Senegal international has scored 13 goals, he has provided 5 assists; this gives Mane a 28% contribution in Liverpool’s goals.
He has also scored some critical goals like in the Merseyside derby. With Philippe Coutinho’s injury and Mane’s absence, Liverpool is likely to face a tough time. This may act as their sabotage. Liverpool is in the struggle for the title and yet their main attacking machine, Mane, is absent plus the injury of their Brazilian thinker, Coutinho.
Having won the Premier League trophy in the 2015-2016 season, Leicester City is below the performing line, and now is to miss its significant player, 2016 BBC African Footballer of the Year, Riyad Mahrez. For the Algerian Desert Warriors national side, all their hopes are on their star, Mahrez, for the second AFCON title.
Then, there is Islam Slimani, who is Leicester City’s tank forward, having scored six goals in his first 16 games for the champions. He will also go and join his Algeria team in AFCON. Leicester City has very important matches against ManU and Chelsea in January and February, respectively, yet their creative player Mahrez and striker, Slimani, will be absent. This will cost them the defense of the league championship in which their performance has been promising.
West Ham United’s
All-around Senegal player, Cheikhou Kouyate, who has featured as a centre-back and midfield, in his 16 appearances for this season had five clean sheets. His absence will seriously leave the defence department for the Hammers shaky
Having been capped twice by England, Wilfred Zaha, finally went to his country of birth, Ivory Coast, before AFCON. New Crystal Palace boss, Sam Alladyce, has praised Zaha for his creativity in the game. Zaha had six assists and four goals so far for the palace this season.
It is also facing a big struggle without the Senegalese defensive midfielder, Idrissa Gueye, who left for AFCON2017 on Monday. Gueye has made 82 glorious tackles in his 17 Premier League appearances.