Premier League

Every Premier League player set to be involved at AFCON 2021

By Sean Walsh
Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are off to AFCON
Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are off to AFCON / Richard Heathcote/GettyImages
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The Africa Cup of Nations always proves to be one of the most exciting continental tournaments, drawing in audiences of millions from across the globe.

But the 2021 edition was pushed back to January 2022, meaning it will once again cause disruption for most Premier League sides.

The good news is the release date for those partaking in the tournament has been moved to January 3, meaning top flight clubs will get one or two more games out of their African stars. The tournament will conclude on February 6.

Here's the full list of Premier League players jetting off to Cameroon for the finals.


1. Arsenal

Thomas Partey
Partey is the only member of Arsenal's starting XI off to the tournament / Harriet Lander/GettyImages

Thomas Partey (Ghana)
Mohamed Elneny (Egypt)
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)
Nicolas Pepe (Ivory Coast)

Star striker Aubameyang is among Arsenal's players jetting off to AFCON, though he has been omitted from recent matchday squads and stripped of the captaincy due to a disciplinary breach anyway.

2. Aston Villa

Bertrand Traore
Traore has scarcely featured in recent weeks / James Chance/GettyImages

Bertrand Traore (Burkina Faso)
Trezeguet (Egypt)

The Villa duo have been on the fringes of the squad this season and their absences shouldn't have too much of an impact on proceedings in the West Midlands.

3. Brentford

Frank Onyeka
Frank 'The Tank' Onyeka is already a fan favourite / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Frank Onyeka (Nigeria)

Summer signing Onyeka is the only player from Brentford off to the tournament.

4. Brighton & Hove Albion

Yves Bissouma
Bissouma will be absent for Brighton / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Yves Bissouma (Mali)
Ulrick Eneme Ella (Gabon)

After a three-year absence, box-to-box midfielder Bissouma has been recalled by his country as they look to conquer Africa.

5. Burnley

Maxwel Cornet
Cornet has been one of the signings of the season / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Maxwel Cornet (Ivory Coast)

After such a fine start to life in England, Burnley will miss Cornet in their fight for Premier League survival.

6. Chelsea

Edouard Mendy
Mendy will be missed / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Edouard Mendy (Senegal)

While the Blues will be without their imperious goalkeeper in January, they've been handed a boost after Hakim Ziyech was left out of Morocco's squad.

7. Crystal Palace

Wilfred Zaha
Zaha's absence will be huge / Chloe Knott - Danehouse/GettyImages

Jordan Ayew (Ghana)
Cheikhou Kouyate (Senegal)
Wilfried Zaha (Ivory Coast)

Crystal Palace's already thin squad will be pushed to the limit in the absence of three key men.

8. Everton

Alex Iwobi
Iwobi will be Everton's only representative at AFCON / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Alex Iwobi (Nigeria)

While Iwobi has been called up to AFCON, the perennially-injured Jean-Philippe Gbamin has not.

9. Leeds United

Marcelo Bielsa
Leeds are fighting for Premier League survival / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Good news, Leeds fans - none of your players will be missing through international duty in January.

Now, if only the recent rise in injuries will subside...

10. Leicester City

Kelechi Iheanacho
Iheanacho is one of four players Leicester will be without / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Daniel Amartey (Ghana)
Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria)
Nampalys Mendy (Senegal)
Wilfred Ndidi (Nigeria)

Brendan Rodgers' squad is being decimated by injuries. He won't be pleased to see four of his stars jet off this January.

11. Liverpool

Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane
Talk about irreplaceable... / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Naby Keita (Guinea)
Sadio Mane (Senegal)
Mohamed Salah (Egypt)

Eesh. Liverpool will almost certainly be hit hardest by AFCON absences.

12. Manchester City

Riyad Mahrez
Mahrez heads to AFCON in fine form / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)

Algeria captain Mahrez is off to AFCON - however will Man City cope without one of their several star wide forwards?

13. Manchester United

Eric Bailly
Bailly is down the pecking order at Old Trafford / Gareth Copley/GettyImages

Eric Bailly (CB)

Man Utd should be well-stocked at centre-back in Bailly's absence providing Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof's returns are smooth.

14. Newcastle

Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe has a big job on his hands / Stu Forster/GettyImages

Like Leeds, Newcastle's fight for survival will be helped by the fact they have no representatives at AFCON.

15. Norwich City

Dean Smith
Can Dean Smith keep Norwich up? / Stephen Pond/GettyImages

See: Leeds, Newcastle.

16. Southampton

Moussa Djenepo
Djenepo has been on the fringes of the Saints squad / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Moussa Djenepo (Mali)

While tricky winger Djenepo will not be available for Ralph Hasenhuttl's selection for the next month or so, Mohammed Salisu has not been called up by Ghana and will remain in England.

17. Tottenham Hotspur

Antonio Conte
All of Antonio Conte's men will remain in England this January / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Spurs are the only top four-contender without a player heading to AFCON.

18. Watford

Ismaila Sarr
Sarr will be a huge miss / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

Emmanuel Dennis (Nigeria)
Adam Masina (Morocco)
Imran Louza (Morocco)
Ismaila Sarr (Senegal)
William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria)

Godspeed to Claudio Ranieri and the remainder of his Watford contingent who face six-pointers against Newcastle and Norwich in January.

19. West Ham United

Said Benrahma
Benrahma has stepped up this year / Alex Broadway/GettyImages

Said Benrahma (Algeria)

Benrahma's breakout season at London Stadium will be put on hold while he's at AFCON.

20. Wolverhampton Wanderers

Romain Saiss
Saiss' absence will be felt / Steve Bardens/GettyImages

Willy Boly (Ivory Coast)
Romain Saiss (Morocco)

Wolves have one of the smallest squads in the Premier League as it is and will have to get by without these two centre-backs.

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