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Mendy, Salah, Mane & other African stars who are set to miss EPL action in January due to AFCON duty

The English premier league as one of the best leagues in Europe if not the best will be without some African star players who have formed the integral part of the game in the competition, as they will be out of action for their respective EPL clubs in January due to the commencement of AFCON tournament.

Some of the top clubs in the competition will as such have to cope without their African stars when the tournament kicks off comes January 9, 2022 with some clubs to be affected more than the others.

This is because some of them are over reliant on the African talents who have established themselves as key figures in the squad paraded their respective managers with the likes of Liverpool, Watford, Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester City among others to be adversely affected due to the great impacts played by the African stars in the club.

The likes of Jurgen Klopp, Brendan Rodgers, Mikel Arteta, Thomas Tuchel, Claudio Ranieri are most likely to be the biggest casualties as the year gradually runs to an end, as some of their key players who are Africans will be on duty for their respective countries in January.

The competition which ought to have taken place earlier before now but was delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic was sheduled to take effect from January 9th to February 6th 2022 with Cameroon to be the host nation.

The main concern for these premier league clubs is not about the number of players to be absent in their team but the importance of those players in the team.

Liverpool as a case study will be without the likes of Mohamed Salah who has been in scintillating form so far this season netting in 10 consecutive games for the club across all competitions, coupled with his brilliant hat-trick in the weekend to set a new record as the African all-time top scorer in the England.

Sadio Mane who has also been magnificent in the front of goal for the Reds so far this season and Naby Keita who has also picked form for the Merseyside club scoring decisive goals upfront and managing the midfield role at the peak.

Chelsea will be without their world class goalkeeper, Edouard Mendy and Hakim Ziyech. With just only two to be missed by the Blues, they will really feel the absence of the Senegalese goalkeeper the most having been proving himself as one of the best shot stoppers not only in their domestic top-flight league but also in European competition, keeping some remarkable number of clean sheets which made him to be nominated for the Yashin Trophy award.

The absence of their preferred number one choice of goalkeeper at this time will make them switched to the Spaniard and most expensive goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Mikel Arteta's Arsenal team will also be missing the likes of their talisman, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who has also been in superb form this season becoming the second EPL player with the most goals scored for club in all competitions after Liverpool's Mohamed Salah.

Thomas Partey who becomes the first player to net against their former goalkeeper, Emiliano Martinez since he left the club for Aston Villa with his first ever goal for club as the Argentine shot stopper have kept two clean sheets against the Gunners in his last two game against them after leaving the club, before conceding three in their last weekend game among others.

Watford and Leicester City will also be definitely affected with the nature of African players paraded in the team as they are heavily reliant on them, playing for their teams week-in week-out.

Here are some of the list of players who are likely to be missed by top clubs in the competition:

- Arsenal: Thomas Partey (Ghana), Mohamed Elneny (Egypt), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon), Nicolas Pepe (Ivory Coast)

- Liverpool: Mohamed Salah (Egypt), Sadio Mane (Senegal), Naby Keita (Guinea)

- Manchester United: Eric Bailly (Ivory Coast), Amad Diallo (Ivory Coast)

- Manchester City: Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)

- Leicester City: Kelechi Ịheanachọ (Nigeria), Wilfred Ndidi (Nigeria), Daniel Amartey (Ghana), Patson Daka (Zambia), Nampalys Mendy (Senegal)

- Chelsea: Edouard Mendy (Senegal), Hakim Ziyech (Morocco)

- Everton: Alex Iwobi (Nigeria), Jean-Philippe Gbamin (Ivory Coast)

- Watford: Oghenekaro Etebo (Nigeria), William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria), Emmanuel Dennis (Nigeria), Ismaila Sarr (Senegal), Adam Masina (Morocco)

- Brentford: Frank Onyeka (Nigeria), Julian Jeanvier (Guinea), Tariqe Fosu-Henry (Ghana).

Other clubs include Crystal Palace, Burnley, Aston Villa, Brighton and Hove Albion, Southampton and Wolverhampton wanderer.

Only time will tell if the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, Leicester City, Watford, Arsenal and Brentford who are heavily reliant on these African players can survive before their return to the squad after the competition.

Photo Credit: Instagram

Content created and supplied by: DonJay1 (via Opera News )

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