With the 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) off to a flying start,tournaments of this nature presents an opportunity for emerging stars to showcase their skills to a global audience.
We’ll take a look at some of the emerging stars to watch in the tournament.
Amadou Haidara – Mali
Manchester United fans will be paying close attention to Mali at AFCON. The Red Devils have been linked with a move for RB Leipzig’s Amadou Haidara. A commendable ball winner, he highlights a strength to drive forward in possession to good effect. As such, Mali are not to be underestimated at the competition.
Ellyes Skhiri – Tunisia
While he has scored three goals for FC Koln this season, Ellyes Skhiri’s primary strength has always been his ball-winning ability. Anchoring the Tunisia midfield, opponents will find it hard to get the better of the Carthage Eagles, with Skhiri mopping up in front of the defence.
Joe Aribo – Nigeria
The Rangers of Scotland Midfielder ranks second for league goals (6) and third for assists (3) of all Rangers players this season, and Nigeria will be hoping he can transfer that goal threat to the international stage, starting with the blockbuster meeting with Egypt on Tuesday.
Achraf Hakimi – Morocco
The Paris Saint-Germain right-back is one of the best in the position in the world.His ability to defend and support in attack will be valuable for Morocco, as the Atlas Lions hope to improve on their previous performance at the the continental showpiece.
Odilon Kossounou – Cote D’Ivoire I
n the summer of 2021, Bayer Leverkusen paid a Belgian record fee to sign Kossounou from Club Brugge.His awareness, strength and skills with the ball are noteworthy, and he continues a tradition of excellent Ivorian central defenders.
Abdou Diallo – Senegal
Diallo made his international debut in March last year but has been almost ever-present, partnering Kalidou Koulibaly, who has question marks over his fitness currently, and allowing Cheikhou Kouyate to play in midfield where he is natural.
Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa – Cameroon
Cameroon keep the ball extremely well and are solid in defence. Both of these functions require the presence and quality of Zambo Anguissa.The Napoli man has blossomed since joining Serie A side Napoli last summer.
Musa Barrow – Gambia
The Gambia are making their first appearance at AFCON and they would want to be just making up the numbers.Forward Musa Barrow is part of a growing Gambian football diaspora in Italy, and has been in tremendous form throughout the first half of the season.
Mohamed Bayo – Guinea
Newly promoted Clermont are punching above their weight in Ligue 1 and much of that is owed to the form of Bayo, who is already attracting interest from the Premier League.
Kamaldeen Sulemana – Ghana
Sulemana is one of the more aesthetically pleasing and unpredictable ones out there.Signed by Rennes last summer from Nordsjaelland, the winger is already showing his worth outwitting defenders in Ligue 1.