AFCON 2022: Ranking the top 10 players set to star in African championship

The Africa Cup of Nations is always a star-studded event, and while that can put pressure on high-profile clubs that lose some of their best players, fans have a chance to see some of the world’s best in action. on the international stage. .

A lot of the best attacking players will take part in AFCON 2022, but there are also many goalkeepers, defenders and midfield masters who are undisputed world-class talents.

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

Top 10 players from the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations

10. Achraf Hakimi (Right Back, Morocco)

  • Club: Paris Saint-Germain (France)
  • Get older: 23
  • Lids: 41
  • Goals: 5

Hakimi has been one of Africa’s best young talents for years, as evidenced by his 41 caps at age 23. After winning a big signing from Inter Milan to PSG last summer, Hakimi has started working in Paris. where he has contributed three goals and three assists from his right back position. He has been a fixture in Morocco’s lineup for the past two years, playing every minute of the team’s run to the AFCON 2019 knockout stage. His teammate Youssef En-Nesyri will be the beneficiary of the Hakimi centers.

9. Kalidou Koulibaly (Center back, Senegal)

  • Club: Naples (Italy)
  • Get older: 30
  • Lids: 53
  • Goals: 0

The Napoli star made headlines two years ago as a potential high-value transfer target, and he remains one of Europe’s best defenders. SofaScore has rated Koulibaly as the best central defender in Serie A this season, while WhoScored places him in second place. Koulibaly is struggling with a hamstring injury, but was included in the Senegal squad, suggesting he could be available soon. It is no coincidence that Napoli lost just one league match until their injury, at which point the club lost three of four during their absence.

8. Wilfred Ndidi (Defender / Midfielder, Nigeria)

  • Club: Leicester City (England)
  • Get older: 25
  • Lids: 43 caps
  • Goals: 0

Already plagued by injuries, Leicester City will miss Ndidi in the worst way. He is one of the most underrated players in the Premier League and will be instrumental in Nigeria’s chances of a successful tournament. Shifted to central defense on occasion, Ndidi is averaging nearly four successful tackles per game and has assumed the mantle of N’Golo Kante as a midfield force with the Foxes. As Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa receive the applause in front of goal, it will be Ndidi’s performances that will determine how far Nigeria can go.

7. Sebastien Haller (Forward, Ivory Coast)

  • Club: Ajax (Holland)
  • Get older: 27
  • Lids: 8
  • Goals: 3

While Haller looked mediocre at best during his Premier League stint with West Ham, he is an entirely different player this season and a true contender for the tournament’s top scorer title. In fact, he can boast of being in top form in the competition, scoring an incredible 10 goals in his six Champions League group stage games this season, plus another 12 in 17 Eredivisie games. If you look beyond Haller, you might miss out on one of the most exciting players in the tournament. He could feast, especially when supported by Wilfried Zaha and Nicolas Pepe in the attack.

6. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Forward, Gabon)

  • Club: Arsenal (England)
  • Get older: 32
  • Lids: 71
  • Goals: 29

Frozen out of the Arsenal squad and rumored to be making his way, this month Aubameyang will be more eager to perform at the AFCON event and remind the world, and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, of his worth. Aubameyang started the league season slowly before his eventual banishment, and the international stage presents an opportunity to return to his best. Since November 2020, through AFCON qualification and World Cup qualification, Gabon is 4W-0L-0D when Aubameyang scores a goal and 0W-5L-1D when he does not, so his hopes on the tournament depend entirely on your success in front of goal. .

5. Thomas Partey (Midfielder, Ghana)

  • Club: Arsenal (England)
  • Get older: 28
  • Lids: 3. 4
  • Goals: 12

Thomas Partey has quietly become one of the Premier League’s most valuable players, and his defeat will be felt at Arsenal. In fact, the Gunners are rumored to dive into the transfer market just to cover the month he might be out. Second among the Arsenal team in successful tackles and third in successful dribbles, Partey is a true box-to-box talent who can lead Ghana deep into the knockout stage.

4. Edouard Mendy (Goalkeeper, Senegal)

  • Club: Chelsea (England)
  • Get older: 29
  • Lids: sixteen
  • Goals: 0

Attacking talent tops this list for obvious reasons, but Edouard Mendy has proven to be one of the Premier League’s best players since arriving at Chelsea in 2020, and his talent should be on full display in this competition. Mendy helped lead Senegal to the final of the 2019 competition, and this time they will be on the lookout to overcome the final hurdle. The 29-year-old is statistically speaking one of the best goalkeepers in the EPL this season, ranked in the top five by WhoScored and SofaScore, meaning Senegal is getting one of the best in the world at his best.

3. Sadio Mane (Forward, Senegal)

  • Club: Liverpool (England)
  • Get older: 29
  • Lids: 80 capsules
  • Goals: 26

Liverpool are losing a couple of great attackers, and Sadio Mane prepares to lead a star-studded Senegal squad. Mane has looked tired from overuse at times for Liverpool this season, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Senegal rest him at times during the group stage, but the tournament could also provide an opportunity for the Reds star to return to his role. best level. : Mane has scored seven goals in his last 11 appearances for Senegal entering the competition.

2. Riyad Mahrez (Forward, Algeria)

  • Club: Manchester City (England)
  • Get older: 30
  • Lids: 70
  • Goals: 26

Mahrez, the best player of the defending African champions, has established himself as one of the most important players in Man City this season and should bring excellent attacking form to the tournament. Mahrez scored a critical goal at the end of a 2019 AFCON semi-final and should have bigger contributions to make this season as Algeria hopes to defend its title.

1. Mohamed Salah (Forward, Egypt)

  • Club: Liverpool (England)
  • Get older: 29
  • Lids: 74
  • Goals: Four. Five

The star of the show, Mohamed Salah, is in spectacular scoring form, leading the Premier League in goals. He’ll hope that form carries over to AFCON, where Salah will be the most prolific scorer of any player in the tournament – 45 international goals in 74 international matches.

Other players to watch at 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)
  • André Onana (Goalkeeper, Cameroon / Ajax)
  • Nicolas Pepe (Forward, Ivory Coast / Arsenal)
  • Romain saiss (Defense, Morocco / Lobos)
  • Jean-Michel Seri (Midfielder, Ivory Coast / Fulham FC)
  • Trezeguet (Midfielder, Egypt / Aston Villa)
  • Wilfried zaha (Forward, Ivory Coast / Crystal Palace)