309Write - The 11 players to watch at AFCON 2021

The 33rd release of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) begins on January 9 in Cameroon, having been postponed per year by the Covid pandemic.


While it is near outside the realm of possibilities for an AFCON to fall off effortlessly, it has consistently hurled important storylines and exhibitions, and with a portion of the world's best footballers joining in one space.


Set up names like Egypt's Mohamed Salah, Senegal's Sadio Mane, Algerian skipper Riyad Mahrez, Senegalese goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and Ivorian Franck Kessie need no presentation.


However, outside of that, Al Jazeera investigates 11 of the landmass' most splendid stars to watch out for during the competition.


Herve Koffi – Goalkeeper, 25, Burkina Faso/Charleroi

Koffi was one of the breakout stars of Burkina Faso's hurried to the semi-finals back in 2017. Generally semi-secret at that point, the second-age global reported himself with a remarkable presentation in the quarterfinal prevail upon Tunisia.


Before the finish of the competition, he moved from ASEC to Lille. Yet, things didn't exactly take off for him in France. After a few advance actions, he observed strength in Belgium with Charleroi and stays an exceptionally solid goalkeeper who can assist Burkina Faso with living their "surprisingly strong contenders" tag.

Koffi [Gabriel Bouys/AFP]

Odilon Kossounou – Defender, 21, Ivory Coast/Bayer Leverkusen

In the mid year of 2021, Bayer Leverkusen paid a Belgian record expense to sign Kossounou from Club Brugge.


The expense was attractive, particularly for a middle back scarcely out of his youngsters.


His mindfulness, strength – belying his thin edge – and abilities with the ball are essential, and he proceeds with a practice of magnificent Ivorian focal protectors.


Achraf Hakimi – Defender, 23, Morocco/Paris Saint-Germain

Hakimi is basically the best right-back in Africa and truly outstanding on the planet.


While his club rap sheet – Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan and PSG – recounts to its own story, the reality he is still just 23 makes his status even more great.


Hakimi's capacity to convey a whole flank is vital to Morocco's assaulting play, similar to his low conveyances across the crate. Look out for him to torture each left-back he goes over in Cameroon.


Abdou Diallo – Defender, 25, Senegal/Paris Saint-Germain

Diallo made his global introduction in March last year yet has been ever-present, cooperating Kalidou Koulibaly, who has question marks over his wellness as of now, and permitting Cheikhou Kouyate to play in midfield where he is regular.


On his day, Diallo is a tasteful administrator with a smooth left foot and splendid guarded impulses, yet being pushed into a particularly basic job so from the get-go in his global profession is difficult. Assuming it works out positively, Senegal will be near obstructed at the back.

Ilias Chair – Midfielder, 24, Morocco/Queens Park Rangers

Seat is an exuberant assaulting midfielder with a collection of spills, hauls and rolls. He is the kind of player who is not difficult to experience passionate feelings for.


Seat made his worldwide introduction halfway through 2021 yet has put forth his defense to be a starter with expanding savagery from that point forward.


His exhibitions during Qatar 2022 qualifying toward the end of last year will most likely place him in an advantageous position when the beginning setup is chosen for AFCON.


Yves Bissouma – Midfielder, 25, Mali/Brighton and Hove Albion

At Brighton, Bissouma is a versatile, vigorous screen before the safeguard.


Notwithstanding, for Mali, he plays a more broad, plainly imaginative job as a case to-confine midfielder equipped for spilling to cutting edge regions and shooting effectively from distance.


The Eagles are one more under-the-radar group to whom most should focus, and Bissouma is the sparkling pearl at the core, all things considered,

Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa – Midfielder, 26, Cameroon/Napoli

Cameroon keep the ball amazingly well and are strong in safeguard. Both of these capacities require the presence and nature of Zambo Anguissa.


The Napoli man, for such a long time an undervalued examination sweetheart while yo-yoing all over association divisions in England, has bloomed since joining Serie A side Napoli the previous summer.


He has likewise thrived universally, giving sharp passing, power and genuineness in midfield.


While Cameroon have various choices in focal midfield, the smooth skimming of Zambo Anguissa is set to stick out.


Musa Barrow – Forward, 23, The Gambia/Bologna

The Gambia are showing up at AFCON and they would need to be simply making up the numbers.


Forward Musa Barrow is important for a developing Gambian football diaspora in Italy, and has been in gigantic structure all through the main portion of the period.


Cart can play all over the front three, however what makes the 23-year-old so watchable is his eagerness to attempt the unforeseen.


At the point when it falls off, it very well may be very breathtaking. Considering The Gambia are not top choices to progress from Group F, they will be appreciative for any snapshots of enchantment they can get from Barrow.

Umar Sadiq – Forward, 24, Nigeria/Almeria

Wounds and withdrawals have schemed to hand Spain-based Umar Sadiq a one of a kind open door.


The Almeria man has more than procured it, notwithstanding. Sadiq has been in great structure for Almeria for near two seasons now as the Andalusian club pursue advancement to La Liga.


Watching him play is rarely dull. An unstable character, joined with his stature and actual form, makes him hard to anticipate. It can disrupt protectors yet additionally disappoint fans and colleagues.


Mohamed Bayo – Forward, 23, Guinea/Clermont

Recently advanced Clermont are fighting at a surprisingly high level in Ligue 1 and a lot of that is owed to the type of Bayo, who is as of now drawing in interest from the Premier League.


A strong focus forward who dominates at connect up play and is a solid finisher, Bayo has additionally taken to global football rapidly.


A striker of his profile, who accomplishes more than essentially hold tight the shoulder of safeguards sitting tight for administration, could significantly impact Guinea and convey them far in the opposition.

Kamaldeen Sulemana – Forward, 19, Ghana/Rennes

Everybody adores a dribbler and Sulemana is one of the more tastefully satisfying and flighty ones out there.


Endorsed by Rennes the previous summer from Nordsjaelland, the winger is now showing his value outsmarting safeguards in Ligue 1.


He is likewise a piece of Ghana's change in accentuation, as the Black Stars are turning more towards youth.


Assuming Sulemana can carry his best structure to AFCON, it would assist with instructing Milovan Rajevac's framework fit together that amount all the more perfectly, and furnish Ghana with some genuinely necessary creation in assault.


Administrator at the center of attention: Aliou Cisse, 45, Senegal

The previous Teranga Lions commander is exceptionally loved back home however has been ordered to win the tricky competition in Cameroon or face the sack.


Cisse supplanted Frenchman Alain Giresse in 2015 and his first AFCON competition in 2017 finished in a quarterfinal exit.


In spite of promising such a huge amount at the 2018 World Cup, his side neglected to emerge from the gathering.


The next year, he experienced a horrifying 1-0 loss to Djamel Belmadi-drove Algeria in the AFCON last.


Having captained his country as it thundered to the 2002 World Cup quarter-finals, Cisse knows that his COVID and injury-hit crew should go one stage better compared to it did in Egypt, to procure the option to lead the West African country in March's 2022 World Cup qualifying season finisher.

Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter!


You must be logged in to post a comment.

Related Articles
About Author