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Which Premier League players are leaving for the AFC Asian Cup 2023?

The 2023 AFC Asian Cup is set to take place in January and February, meaning a handful of Premier League players will not play for their clubs for at least two weeks.

The tournament starts on 12 January, 2024 and ends on 10 February, 2024. Players that reach the final will miss around five weeks of Premier League action, which could cause problems for certain managers.

Which Premier League players are leaving for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup? Find out here.

Son Heung-Min has been one of Tottenham's leading contributors this season, scoring 12 goals in the Premier League.
Son Heung-Min will be a big loss for Tottenham Hotspur when he heads to the 2023 AFC Asian Cup / Photo by Icon Sport

Which Premier League players are leaving for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup?

  • Arsenal – Takehiro Tomiyasu (Japan)
  • Brentford – Saman Ghoddos (Iran)
  • Brighton – Kaoru Mitoma (Japan)
  • Liverpool – Wataru Endo (Japan)
  • Tottenham Hotspur – Son Heung-min (South Korea)
  • Wolves – Hwang Hee-chan (South Korea)

The AFC Asian Cup contains 24 teams, with Qatar as the defending champions after beating Japan 3-1 in the 2019 final. Qatar will host this year’s edition of the tournament, having also hosted last year’s FIFA World Cup.

There are only six players from six different clubs going to the AFC Asian Cup. The impact of the tournament will not hit clubs as hard as AFCON 2023, with players from 18 different Premier League clubs taking part in the Ivory Coast.

Which Premier League players will be missed most at the 2023 AFC Asian Cup?

Takehiro Tomiyasu is currently injured with a calf injury, meaning his participation in this year’s AFC Asian Cup is uncertain.

The Japanese full-back is a useful squad option for Mikel Arteta and has made 13 appearances for Arsenal this season, including five starts.

Brentford’s Saman Ghoddos has struggled to make an impact so far this season, scoring once in 14 appearances. Ghoddos has only started seven league games, playing a largely bit-part role in a struggling Brentford team.

Saman Ghoddos has struggled to make an impact for Brentford in the Premier League this season.
Brentford's Saman Ghoddos has only started seven league games this season / Photo by Icon Sport

Kaoru Mitoma recently picked up an injury in Brighton’s 1-1 draw away at Crystal Palace on 21 December, 2023. Brighton manager, Roberto De Zerbi, said that the Japanese winger was likely to be out for four to six weeks at the time, so his involvement in this year’s Asian Cup is unclear.

Liverpool’s Wataru Endo has been a revelation in the number six role, with the Japanese midfielder becoming a regular for Jürgen Klopp’s men in recent weeks.

After Liverpool’s 5-1 victory against West Ham United in the Carabao Cup, Klopp said: “We see him (Endo) every day in training and he is one of the hardest-working people I ever met.”

Son-Heung Min’s absence will undoubtedly be felt by Tottenham Hotspur, as the South Korean striker has 17 goal contributions in 20 Premier League games.

Speaking on Son’s impending absence, Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou said: “He’s been a hell of a player for us. It’s a big loss for us, another one and we’re going to have to really raise everyone’s levels to cover the absence of another significant contributor for us this season.”

Wolves’ Hwang Hee-Chan will be a significant absentee for the Midlands club, as the South Korean striker has already scored ten goals and registered three assists in the Premier League.

Speaking to Wolves on their website about the upcoming AFC Asian Cup, Hwang said: “I’m very excited. We have a very good team, we have very good players, and at the moment we have been playing very well.”

 

Will Murray

Freelance football journalist. Experience writing for When Saturday, Comes, Goalkeeper.com, Elite Scholars and Total Football Analysis. Recently finished an MA in Sport Journalism at the University of Brighton. Long-time season ticket holder at the two-time European Champions Nottingham Forest.

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