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AFCON 2022: Rating the highest 10 gamers set to star in African championship

The Africa Cup of Nations is all the time a star-studded occasion, and whereas that may put a pressure on high-profile golf equipment that lose a few of their greatest gamers, followers get the prospect to observe among the world’s greatest in motion on the worldwide stage.

A number of prime attacking gamers might be participating in AFCON 2022, however there are additionally loads of goalkeepers, defenders, and midfield maestros who’re undisputed world-class abilities.

Whereas lots of the prime stars hail from the Premier League, there are additionally gamers from Serie A, Ligue 1, and even the Eredivisie as Europe sends a few of its featured protagonists to the competitors.

MORE: All Premier League players called up to AFCON 2022

Prime 10 gamers on the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations

10. Achraf Hakimi (Proper again, Morocco)

  • Membership: Paris Saint-Germain (France)
  • Age: 23
  • Caps: 41
  • Objectives: 5

Hakimi has been among the finest younger abilities in Africa for years now, as evidenced by his 41 worldwide caps by age 23. Incomes a big-money transfer from Inter Milan to PSG this previous summer season, Hakimi has hit the bottom working in Paris, the place he has contributed three targets and three assists from his proper again place. He has been a fixture within the Morocco lineup over the previous two years, and performed each minute of the workforce’s run to the knockout stage of AFCON 2019. Teammate Youssef En-Nesyri would be the beneficiary of Hakimi’s crosses.

9. Kalidou Koulibaly (Middle again, Senegal)

  • Membership: Napoli (Italy)
  • Age: 30
  • Caps: 53
  • Objectives: 0

The Napoli star made headlines two years in the past as a attainable high-value switch goal, and he nonetheless stays one of many prime defenders in Europe. SofaScore has rated Koulibaly as one of the best central defender in Serie A this season, whereas WhoScored places him second. Koulibaly is fighting a hamstring damage, however was included in Senegal’s squad, suggesting he might be obtainable quickly. It is no coincidence that Napoli misplaced only one league match till his damage, at which level the membership misplaced three of 4 throughout his absence.

8. Wilfred Ndidi (Defender / Midfielder, Nigeria)

  • Membership: Leicester Metropolis (England)
  • Age: 25
  • Caps: 43 caps
  • Objectives: 0

Leicester Metropolis, already beset by accidents, will miss Ndidi within the worst manner. He is likely one of the most underrated gamers in the Premier League, and might be vital to Nigeria’s possibilities for a profitable event. Shifted to middle again at occasions, Ndidi is averaging practically 4 profitable tackles per match and has assumed N’Golo Kante’s mantle as a midfield power with the Foxes. Whereas Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa obtain the plaudits in entrance of purpose, it is going to be Ndidi’s performances that can decide how far Nigeria can go.

MORE: Who will win AFCON? Betting odds & futures

7. Sebastien Haller (Ahead, Ivory Coast)

  • Membership: Ajax (Netherlands)
  • Age: 27
  • Caps: 8
  • Objectives: 3

Whereas Haller appeared mediocre at greatest throughout his Premier League spell with West Ham, he’s a completely totally different participant this season and an actual candidate for the event’s prime scorer title. Certainly, he can declare to be in one of the best type of anybody within the competitors, scoring an unimaginable 10 targets over his six Champions League group-stage matches this marketing campaign, plus one other 12 in 17 Eredivisie matches. Look previous Haller and also you would possibly simply miss out on one of the thrilling gamers within the event. He might feast, particularly when supported by Wilfried Zaha and Nicolas Pepe within the assault.

6. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Ahead, Gabon)

  • Membership: Arsenal (England)
  • Age: 32
  • Caps: 71
  • Objectives: 29

Frozen out of the Arsenal squad and rumored to be pushing his manner out, this month Aubameyang might be additional hungry to characteristic on the AFCON occasion and remind the world — and Arsenal supervisor Mikel Arteta — of his worth. Aubameyang began the league season gradual earlier than his eventual banishment, and the worldwide stage presents an opportunity for a return to his greatest. Since November of 2020, via AFCON qualification and World Cup qualification, Gabon is 4W-0L-0D when Aubameyang scores a purpose and 0W-5L-1D when he would not, so their event hopes hinge totally on his success in entrance of purpose.

5. Thomas Partey (Midfielder, Ghana)

  • Membership: Arsenal (England)
  • Age: 28
  • Caps: 34
  • Objectives: 12

Thomas Partey has quietly transitioned into one of the invaluable gamers within the Premier League, and his loss might be felt at Arsenal. Certainly, the Gunners are rumored to be dipping into the switch market simply to cowl the month he might be gone. Second among the many Arsenal squad in profitable tackles and third in profitable dribbles, Partey is a real box-to-box expertise who can lead Ghana deep into the knockout stage.

4. Edouard Mendy (Goalkeeper, Senegal)

  • Membership: Chelsea (England)
  • Age: 29
  • Caps: 16
  • Objectives: 0

Attacking expertise tops this listing for apparent causes, however Edouard Mendy has confirmed himself among the finest Premier League gamers since arriving at Chelsea in 2020, and his expertise ought to be on full show on this competitors. Mendy helped push Senegal to the ultimate of the 2019 competitors, and so they’ll have a watch on overcoming the ultimate hurdle this time round. The 29-year-old is statistically-speaking one of many prime goalkeepers within the EPL this season, ranked within the prime 5 by each WhoScored and SofaScore, which means Senegal is getting one of many world’s greatest at peak kind.

MORE: Chelsea boss angry Mane didn’t see red

3. Sadio Mane (Ahead, Senegal)

  • Membership: Liverpool (England)
  • Age: 29
  • Caps: 80 caps
  • Objectives: 26

Liverpool is shedding a pair of prime attackers, and Sadio Mane prepares to steer a star-studded Senegal squad. Mane has appeared drained from overuse at occasions for Liverpool this season, and it would not be stunning to see Senegal relaxation him at occasions all through the group stage, however the event might additionally present a chance for the Reds star to get again to his greatest: Mane has scored seven targets in his final 11 Senegal appearances coming into the competitors.

2. Riyad Mahrez (Ahead, Algeria)

  • Membership: Manchester Metropolis (England)
  • Age: 30
  • Caps: 70
  • Objectives: 26

The very best participant on the defending African champions, Mahrez has established himself as one of the essential gamers on Man Metropolis this season and will carry wonderful attacking kind to the event. Mahrez scored a vital purpose late in a 2019 AFCON semifinal and will have extra essential contributions to make this season as Algeria hopes to defend its title.

1. Mohamed Salah (Ahead, Egypt)

  • Membership: Liverpool (England)
  • Age: 29
  • Caps: 74
  • Objectives: 45

The star of the present, Mohamed Salah is in spectacular goalscoring kind, main the Premier League in targets. He will hope that kind carries over into AFCON, the place Salah might be essentially the most prolific goalscorer of any participant within the event: 45 worldwide targets throughout 74 caps.

Different gamers to observe at AFCON 2022

  • Eric Bailly (Defender, Ivory Coast / Manchester United)
  • Baghdad Bounedjah (Ahead, Algeria / Al Sadd)
  • Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Ahead, Cameroon / Bayern Munich)
  • Kelechi Iheanacho (Ahead, Nigeria / Leicester Metropolis)
  • Naby Keita (Midfielder, Guinea / Liverpool)
  • Wahbi Khazri (Ahead, Tunisia / Saint-Etienne)
  • Rais M’Bolhi (Goalkeeper, Algeria / Al-Ettifaq FC)
  • Andre Onana (Goalkeeper, Cameroon / Ajax)
  • Nicolas Pepe (Ahead, Ivory Coast / Arsenal)
  • Romain Saiss (Defender, Morocco / Wolves)
  • Jean-Michel Seri (Midfielder, Ivory Coast / Fulham FC)
  • Trezeguet (Midfielder, Egypt / Aston Villa)
  • Wilfried Zaha (Ahead, Ivory Coast / Crystal Palace)

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