The (31st Edition) African Cup of Nations begins on the 14th of January and African players all over the world will travel back to their various countries to represent them in the competition.
A total of 27 African players will be leaving the premier league to join their Country for the AFCON competition. Sunderland and current Champions Leicester City will each lose four players to the competition in Gabon this year.
Most Premier league managers are not entirely happy for losing their players to the competition. Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho and new Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce revealed that are not really happy with the timing of the competition.
Mourinho said: “Bailly is leaving – he goes to the national team. He has to be with them on January 2. We asked them for him to be on January 3 but they refused, so he cannot play against West Ham.
“With these kind of decisions they are controlling every second, so for sure they are going to win the African Cup.”
Sam Allardyce also revealed that Wilfried Zaha will be a big loss to them but is happy that he gets to play at international level.
Allardyce told the BBC: “Good luck to Wifried playing at international level for his country, it’s fantastic for him but obviously a big loss for us.
“I knew before I got here that he was going and I wish him all the best and when he comes back, having been successful, I am hoping he will be fit and ready to play.”
Liverpool will also have to cope without Sadio Mane, although they will be glad that Joel Matip declined Cameroon’s call.
West Brom’s Allan Nyom who didn’t want to go earlier, has been selected for the Cameroon squad.
Tony Pulis told the Mirror: “That’s a thing for Allan and the manager. It’s his country.
“The last thing we want to do as a football club is to stop people playing for their country. I don’t want to get into those politics.”
So the selection of players from the 16 Premier League clubs will represent 13 different clubs; with Ivory Coast and Senegal having the most players; seven and five, respectively.
The departures started on Monday, although some players were permitted to stay longer with their clubs.
Here’s the list of when your club will lose its African stars and what country they’ll be playing for.
Ramadan Sobhi – Stoke City – Egypt
Eric Bailly – Manchester United – Ivory Coast
Mohamed Elneny – Arsenal – Egypt
Arouna Kone – Everton – Ivory Coast
Brice Dja Djedje -Watford – Ivory Coast
Bakary Sako – Crystal Palace – Mali
Idrissa Gueye – Everton – Senegal
Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace – Ivory Coast
Ahmed Elmohamady – Hull City – Egypt
Dieumerci Mbokani – Hull City – DR Congo
Andre Ayew – West Ham – Ghana
Cheikhou Kouyate – West Ham – Senegal
Diafra Sakho – West Ham – Senegal
Kwesi Appiah – Crystal Palace – Ghana
Yohan Benalouane – Leicester City – Tunisia
Jeffrey Schlupp – Leicester City – Ghana
Daniel Amartey – Leicester City – Ghana
Riyad Mahrez – Leicester City – Algeria
Islam Slimani – Leicester City – Algeria
Lamine Kone – Sunderland – Ivory Coast *
Sadio Mane – Liverpool – Senegal
Sofiane Boufal – Southampton – Morocco
Max Gradel – Bournemouth – Ivory Coast
Nordin Amrabat – Watford – Morocco
Adlene Guedioura – Watford – Algeria
Mame Biram Diouf – Stoke City – Senegal
Wilfried Bony – Stoke City – Ivory Coast