AFCON 2022: Rating of the 10 best players who will play in the African Championship

The African Cup of Nations is always a stellar event, and while it may put pressure on high-profile clubs to lose some of their best players, fans have the opportunity to watch the world’s best in action on the international stage. .

AFCON 2022 will be attended by a number of top attacking players, but there are also plenty of goalkeepers, defenders and midfielders who are undisputed world-class talents.

While many top stars come from the Premier League, there are also Serie A, Ligue 1 and even Eredivisie players as Europe sends some of its main protagonists to the competition.

MORE: All Premier League players called AFCON 2022

Top 10 players in the African Cup of Nations 2022

10. Achraf Hakimi (right defender, Morocco)

  • Club: Paris Saint-Germain (France)
  • Age: 23
  • Cap: 41
  • goals: 5

Hakimi has been one of the best young talents in Africa for many years, as evidenced by his 41 national team matches at the age of 23. Last summer, he made a lot of money on the transfer from Inter Milan to PSG and made a name for himself in Paris. where he contributed three goals and three assists from the position of right back. For the past two years, he has been a regular in Morocco, playing every minute of the team’s progress to the AFCON 2019 elimination phase. Teammate Youssef En-Nesyri will benefit from Hakimi’s crosses.

9. Kalidou Koulibaly (Central Defender, Senegal)

  • Club: Naples (Italy)
  • Age: 30
  • Cap: 53
  • goals: 0

The star of Naples made headlines two years ago as a possible high-value transfer target and still remains one of the best defenders in Europe. SofaScore rated Koulibaly as the best Serie A midfielder this season, while WhoScored ranks him second. Koulibaly is struggling with a thigh tendon injury, but has been included in Senegal, suggesting he may be available soon. It is no coincidence that Naples lost only one league match until its injury, when the club lost three out of four during its absence.

8. Wilfred Ndidi (Defender / Midfielder, Nigeria)

  • Club: Leicester City (England)
  • Age: 25
  • Cap: 43 caps
  • goals: 0

Leicester City, already plagued by injuries, will miss Ndidi the worst. He is one of the most underrated players in the Premier League and will be crucial to Nigeria’s chances of a successful tournament. Ndidi, who is sometimes moved to the middle defender, has an average of almost four successful interventions per match and took over N’Golo Kante’s cloak as a midfielder with Foxes. While Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa receive praise in front of the goal, it will be Ndidi’s performances that will determine how far Nigeria can go.

MORE: Who will win AFCON? Betting odds and futures

7. Sebastien Haller (forward, Ivory Coast)

  • Club: Ajax (Netherlands)
  • Age: 27
  • Cap: 8
  • goals: 3

While Haller looked average at best during his time in the Premier League in West Ham, this season he is a completely different player and a real candidate for the title of the top scorer of the tournament. In fact, he can claim to be in the best shape of all in the competition, scoring an incredible 10 goals in this campaign during his six Champions League group matches plus another 12 in 17 Eredivisie games. Look behind Haller and you may miss one of the tournament’s most exciting players. He could feast, especially when he was supported in the attack by Wilfried Zaha and Nicolas Pepe.

6. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (forward, Gabon)

  • Club: Arsenal (England)
  • Age: 32
  • Cap: 71
  • goals: 29

Aubameyang, who has been frozen from the Arsenal team and is rumored to be pushing himself, will be extremely hungry to perform at the AFCON event this month and remind the world – and Arsenal manager Mikel Artet – of his value. Aubameyang started the league season slowly before his eventual dismissal and the international scene represents a chance to return to the best. Since November 2020, despite the AFCON qualification and the World Cup qualification, Gabon is 4W-0L-0D when Aubameyang scores, and 0W-5L-1D when not, so their tournament hopes depend entirely on his success in front of the goal. .

5. Thomas Partey (Midfielder, Ghana)

  • Club: Arsenal (England)
  • Age: 28
  • Cap: 34
  • goals: 12

Thomas Partey has quietly turned into one of the most valuable players in the Premier League and his loss will be felt in Arsenal. Gunners are indeed said to dive into the transfer market just to cover a month when he could be gone. Second in the Arsenal team in successful matches and third in successful dribbles, Partey is a true box-to-box talent that can take Ghana deep into the elimination phase.

4. Edouard Mendy (goalkeeper, Senegal)

  • Club: Chelsea (England)
  • Age: 29
  • Cap: 16
  • goals: 0

Offensive talent is at the top of this list for obvious reasons, but since joining Chelsea in 2020, Edouard Mendy has proven to be one of the best players in the Premier League and his talent should be fully reflected in this competition. Mendy helped get Senegal to the final of the competition in 2019 and this time they will be on the lookout for overcoming the last hurdle. The 29-year-old is statistically one of the top EPL goalkeepers this season, ranked in the top five by both WhoScored and SofaScore, meaning Senegal is one of the best in the world in top form.

MORE: Chelsea boss upset Mane didn’t see the red

3. Sadio Mane (forward, Senegal)

  • Club: Liverpool (England)
  • Age: 29
  • Cap: 80 capsules
  • goals: 26

Liverpool loses a pair of top strikers and Sadio Mane prepares to lead a star-studded Senegalese squad. Mane sometimes looked tired from overwork this season in Liverpool, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see Senegal let him rest during the group stage, but the tournament could also give the Reds a chance to return to their best performances. : Mane has scored seven goals in the last 11 appearances of Senegal that entered the competition.

2. Riyad Mahrez (forward, Algeria)

  • Club: Manchester City (England)
  • Age: 30
  • Cap: 70
  • goals: 26

Mahrez, the top player for the African titles, has established himself as one of Man City’s most important players this season and should bring an excellent offensive form to the tournament. Mahrez scored a critical goal at the end of the 2019 AFCON semifinals and should have more important contributions this season as Algeria hopes to defend its title.

1. Mohamed Salah (forward, Egypt)

  • Club: Liverpool (England)
  • Age: 29
  • Cap: 74
  • goals: 45

The star of the show, Mohamed Salah, is in the spectacular form of scoring goals and leads the Premier League in the number of goals. He will hope that the form will be transferred to AFCON, where Salah will be the most prolific scorer of all the players in the tournament: 45 international goals in 74 matches.

Other players to watch AFCON 2022

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

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