Article 5 players to look out for at the 2017 AFCON

Posted by

fmm17logo.png.41454e51cdbe7ddcdd553057740372c8.png

The 31st edition of the African Cup of Nations gets underway this Friday, with hosts Gabon taking on Guinea-Buissau in the official curtain raiser.

Here is a list of 5 players who are almost certain to light the 2017 tournament. Enjoy!

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - Gabon

Screenshot_20170109-204829.png

This tournament has Aubameyang's name written all over it.

Although he first starred for France U-21's, Aubameyang made his Gabon debut back in 2009, scoring 20 goals since.

With Gabon, he reached the quarter-finals of the 2012 African Cup of Nations, finishing as top scorer of the tournament with 3 goals.

Disappointment followed for the striker, however, as Gabon were eliminated in the group stages in both the 2012 Olympics and the 2015 AFCON.

Aubameyang bagged 15 goals in the Bundesliga last season, with him already scoring 16 this season with Borussia Dortmund.

Can Aubameyang continue his hot form this season and fire Gabon to glory?

Riyad Mahrez - Algeria

Screenshot_20170109-204852.png

The Leicester City man has put his name on the map within the last 16 months.

Moving to The Foxes from French side Le Havre in 2013, he has been influential in Leicester's surge to the top of English football, winning the Premier League back in May 2016, scoring 17 goals from the wide position as he also picked up the PFA Player's Player of the Year, along with the African Player of the Year.

Mahrez didn't have the best of starts to his Algeria career, after he was dropped after their first game of the 2014 World Cup, where they were eliminated in the last 16.

2015 was a brighter year on the international stage, as he starred in every game in the 2015 African Cup of Nations as Algeria reached the quarter-finals of the tournament.

Can Mahrez fire Algeria to the pinnacle of the African continent?

Sadio Mané - Senegal

Screenshot_20170109-204918.png

Signed by Jurgen Klopp from Southampton for a fee of £34m in the summer of 2016, Mane has made himself one of the first names on the team sheet for Liverpool.

Previously playing in Austria with Red Bull Salzberg, Mane joined Southampton before the 2014-2015 season, and instantly became a fan's favourite at St Mary's.

Scoring 10 goals in his first season for The Saints, he went on to score an additional 11 in the next season, helping Southampton finish 7th and 6th respectively.

He has already scored 9 goals so far this season for Liverpool, including a last gasp winner in the Merseyside derby.

Quarter-finalists in the 2012 Olympics, Senegal had to go without Mane for the first group game in the 2015 tournament, and couldn't prevent them going out in the group stage.

Will Africa's most expensive player step up to the plate for Senegal?

Serge Aurier - Ivory Coast

Screenshot_20170109-205157.png

The Ivory Coast are notorious for producing some of the world's finest players, including ex-Chelsea striker Didier Drogba and Manchester City's Yaya Toure, with Serge Aurier's name potentially being the next one on that list.

Starting his career of at Lens, Aurier was shipped to Toulouse, before joining Paris-Saint Germain on loan for the 2014-2015 season.

He experienced a rocky first season at the Parisian club, with injury and controversy problems with UEFA overshadowing the season.

Despite this, he secured a permanent transfer to PSG in April 2015, as he began to impress Laurent Blanc in the right-back position.

He bagged himself league goals against Nantes and Lyon, and Champions League goal against Shakhtar Donetsk in the group stages.

He found himself in hot water again, however, after he made a remark towards team-mate Angel Di Maria, and a homophobic slur towards manager Laurent Blanc, leading to him training with the reserves for the majority of the 2nd half of the 2015-2016 season.

Can Aurier put his past problems behind him, and help Ivory Coast to the AFCON title?

Andre Ayew - Ghana

Screenshot_20170109-205316.png

Since arriving in England back in 2015 with Swansea City, Andre Ayew has arguably been one of the Premier League's best strikers in the last 2 years.

Marseille was his first destination as he signed his first professional contract in 2007 with the French side.

2 loan moves followed for the Ghanian, as he temporarily moved to Lorient and Arles-Avignon in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010.

He returned to Marseille for the 2010-2011 season, before signing for Swansea City in the summer of 2015 after scoring 44 goals in the 5 year period.

Ayew spent just 1 season at Swansea, as he moved to fellow Premier League side West Ham United in 2016 for a club record £20.5m.

On the international stage, Ayew has managed to rack up 11 goals for Ghana, whom he retired from in 2013 after a dispute with the Ghana FA, only to return 7 months later.

The 27-year-old may not have much time left to win silverware with Ghana. Will 2017 be their year?

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. The African Cup of Nations starts this Friday, on ITV 4 at 4pm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.