The 60th edition and 2017 Africa Cup of Nations holding in Gabon is due to start on January 14, and will come to an end on February 5. With several African internationals plying their trades in the English Premier League, it can be expected that their respective clubs will miss them a whole lot for at least 2 fixtures or as much as 4 depending on how far the countries of these players go in the tournament.
In the Premier League, a game is enough to change a club’s fortunes, and 2 is an awful lot in determining where a club ends up at the end of the season, particularly one as highly competitive as this.
In light of this, we look at 5 such crucial players whose clubs would miss a great deal when they are gone for the AFCON.
Click on the arrow button to view the entire gallery
Manchester United’s defence has become better since the Ivory Coast centre-half arrived from Villareal in the summer transfer window. Bailly has averaged 9 defensive actions per game, won 56% of his tackles and aerial duels, and completed 86% of his take-ons.
The west African has also been impressive on the ball, completing 88% of his passes. Injury has seen him play just 11 league games, and he is set to miss the clashes against Liverpool and Stoke.
Bailly could also miss the games against Hull and Leicester City, given that the Elephants have a great chance of getting to the finals being the Africa Cup of nations’ defending champs.