Top 20 stars to watch in Gabon 2017 AFCON
Sports256 brings you close to the top 20 African guns to watch in 2017 AFCON in Gabon for the different sixteen represented nations playing in European big clubs and elsewhere in the world, In this clique we bring you some of the EPL, Bundesliga, La Liga, French league one and other top league stars to watch in Gabon.
20. Wilfred Bony –Ivory Coast & Stoke City.
One of the experienced Ivory Coast players on the squad plying his trade with Stoke city in the English premiership, the center forward in absence of retired Didier Drogba will be Center of attraction for the opposing teams and fans in Gabon, He has not had enough playing time after departing Manchester city falling in pecking order at the Britannia.
19. Nordin Amrabat – Morocco & Watford
The Moroccan star playing for Watford in the EPL, born in Naarden Netherlands with already 4 goals in 23 appearances represented Holland at junior levels, his vast experience at VVV Venlo , PSV, Galatasary, Malaga will be vital for Harve Renard team providing width to his squad on the right of the midfield.
18. Adama Traoré Mali & AS Monaco.
The 21 year old Monaco striker will be key in Mali Midfield against Ghana, Uganda and Egypt in the group D to be played in Stade de Port Gentil, in which Ghana and Egypt are group favorites for the round of 16. Traore who scored 2 goals in 20 appearances for Lille, later loaned to Royal Mouscron-Peruwelz then finally settling at Monaco in 2015, the young star will be among the big guns to watch in the Mali team in Gabon.
17. Bakary Sako – Mali & Crystal Palace.
The 28 year old experienced Crystal Place center back having already scored twice in 23 EPL appearances, his vast experience in the Malian defense will be vital with his scoring abilities scored 26 times in 118 Wolves appearances, 12 in 106 St Etienne games and 9 in 68 for Chateauroux.
16. Check Kouyatte – Senegal & West ham
The Senegalese captain services will be missed by Slevan Bilic at Olympic stadium for almost 6 weeks, the 27 year old born in Dakar Senegal will be so vital in Alliou Cisse’s midfield along with Everton’s Idirissa Gana, with a lot of EPL experience already with 9 goals in 88 games at West ham, then at Anderlecht and Kortrijk makes the cut the cut for the stars to watch in the AFCON.
15. Dieudonné “Dieumerci” Mbokani Bezua –DR Congo & Hull city
The 31 year old veteran striker born in Kinsasha, Zaire, in absence of Everton dancing winger Yannick Bolasie, Mbokani will have a lot to prove and all eyes will be on him, the Hull city center forward on loan from Dynamo Kiev, having spent also last season on loan at Norwich City his experience at TP Mazembe, Anderlect, Standard Liege, Monaco, Wolfsburg will be crucial for Jean-Florent Ikwange Ibengé squad in AFCON against Ivory coast, Togo and Morocco.
14. Mame Biruma Diouf –Senegal & Stoke city.
The 29 year old former Manchester United striker, Will be another star player to watch in the Senegalese team, his link up upfront with Mane and Moussa Sow. The stoke city hungry striker will have a lot to prove in Gabon only 10 in 37 Senegal appearances, Having played for many European clubs like Molde, Hannover, Manchester united, he is a top gun to watch
13. Idrissa Gana Gueye – Senegal & Everton.
The 27 year old Everton defensive midfielder born in Dakar Senegal with 35 appearances on his name is yet to score for his nation, having played for Lille B and Lille in France before joining Aston Villa in the premiership where he did not score in 35 games. Gana enjoying a good season under Ronald Koeman at Godson park will be a key to watch in Gabon.
12. Khama Biliat – Mamelodi & Zimbabwe.
The 26 year old Zimbabwean midfielder will be a center of attraction for many European clubs scouts, having put a classy performance at Mamelodi Sun downs winning the CAF Champions league and competing for the African player of the year award based in Africa with Uganda’s Dennis Onyango. Billiat will cause damage to Algeria, Senegal and Tunisian defense in what is taken to be the group of death with his ability to take on opponents with speed and skills, the former Ajax cape town midfielder has 23 goals in 83 Mamelodi games.
11. Alexander Dimitri Song Billong –Cameroon & Rubin Kazan.
The Douala born, 29 year old defensive midfielder makes a return to the Cameroon squad after signing for Rubin Kazan from a seasonal long loan at West ham, former Barcelona player among the big names in the Cameroon and AFCON squads, Song having played for Bastia, Arsenal, Charlton, Barcelona and West ham his experience will be crucial new coach Hugo Broos and the indominatable lions
10. Dennis Onyango – Uganda & Mamelodi sundowns
The 29 year old Sun downs shot stopper will be a target for many European scouts, being him and Club mate Billiat could be cheap quality labour from South African giants Mamelodi, The Ugandan goalie beaten for the local -Uganda’s footballer of the year award by Shaban Mohammed will compete with Zambian Reinford Kalaba and Khama Billiat for African Player of the year based in Africa award, there is no doubt he is among the only two players playing in Africa who makes the cut on the top 20 top guns to watch in Gabon.
9.Islam Siliman – Algeria & Leceister city.
Born in Algiers 28 years ago, Leicester forward will be key figure in the Algerian squad and a big gun to watch for the football fanatics along with club mate Mahrez to face off with Senegal, Tunisia and Zimbabwe in ‘Group of death’ B. Silliman has found the back of the net 23 times in 47 appearances for the national team and has already bagged 5 in 13 Leicester appearances.
8. Asamoah Gyan –Ghana & Al Ahli
The Ghanaian ageing captain playing in the UAE is another big gun to watch at AFCON Gabon, on loan from Shangai SIPG, the 31 year old Veteran striker is expected to link up well with the Ayew brothers upfront for Avram Grants side.
7. Eric Bailly – Ivory Coast & Manchester United
The 22 year old Manchester united center back born in Bingerville, Ivory Coast will represent his country in AFCON in Gabon with 17 Caps already on his name yet to score a goal, the rough tackler who started his career at Espanyol then later to Virrareal is also yet to score for a senior club having already played 12 games for Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford.
6. Andre Ayew- West ham & Ghana
Among the senior players in the Ghana squad the West ham united forward will be a center of attention in Gabon AFCON, the 27 year old attacker born in Seclin, France has scored 12 times in 72 national team games, Avram Grant will look to his experience upfront with Asamoah Gyan along with Aston Villa’s Jordan Ayew.
5. Muhammad Salah Ghaly –Roma & Egypt
The 24 year old AS Roma attacker born in Basyoun, ElGharbia Egypt no doubt all eyes and cameras will be on hi, having played for top European clubs, Basel, Chelsea, Fiolentina and now Roma, this is expected to be his year to show the African continent what he can do, hassling it out with Senegalese and Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and the rest for African Player if the year award.
4. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang –Gabon & Dortmund
All eyes will be on the Borrusia Dortmund attacker whenever Gabon will be playing and he is under pressure to replicate the club class and form at national level. Pierre-Emerick Emiliano François Aubameyang is a French-born Gabonese player with his speed and capability to play as a forward or a winger in front of his home fans he is under pressure to deliver to make it past group A with Bukina faso, Cameroun and Guinea Bissau, he makes it to no4 of Gabon 2017 AFCON stars to watch
3. Dazet Wilfried Armel Zaha – Ivory Coast & Crystal Palace
Born in the Ivory Coast, Zaha grew up in England from the age of four, the 24 year old Crystal Palace winger committed himself to represent his motherland after playing for England at all junior levels
After an unsuccessful 2013–14 season with Manchester United (partly spent on loan at Cardiff City, Zaha returned to Palace in August 2014 on a season-long loan, before rejoining the club on a permanent basis in February 2015. He un doubted makes it into no3 of Stras to watch in Gabon AFCON
2. Rihad Mahrez –Algeria & Leicester city
Mahrez born in Sarcelles, France, to an Algerian father and a mother of Algerian and Moroccan descent at 26 years has won the following individual accolades in 2015/2016 Season,Algerian Player of the year 2015,Premier league PFA team of the year 2015/16, PFA Player’s player osf the year, BBC African Player of the year 2016.: 2016 so its not by surprise that the Algerian is just behind Liverpool on form Midfielder/calm Striker Mane on stars to watch list.
1. Sadio Mane – Senegal & Liverpool
Born at Sedhiou, Senegal, At Just 22, we go into the AFCON 2017 in Gabon as the with Sadio Mane the top star to watch having had a great 2015/2016 season at Soton and at the top of his career at Anfield with former Dortmund manager Jurgen Kloop. A great dribbler of the ball Mane has already scored 9 goals in 19 Liverpool appearances this season and scored 21 in 67 for Southampton, with his abilities and great form beats Mahrez who has had a quiet start of the EPL first round on the top spot of stars to watch in AFCON.