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Which Premier League players are leaving for AFCON 2023?

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations is set to take place in January and February, which means a host of Premier League stars will be out of club action for at least two weeks.

With the final not taking place until 11 February, there is the possibility that some players will be missing for around five weeks, which is a nightmare scenario for some Premier League managers.

Which Premier League players are leaving for AFCON 2023? Find out here.

Which Premier League players are leaving for AFCON 2023?
Mo Salah is the biggest Premier League star to be heading to AFCON 2023 – Photo by Icon Sport

Which Premier League players are leaving for AFCON 2023?

There are 24 nations competing at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations and more than half of them have players who play in the Premier League.

As many as 46 players from the Premier League could be leaving for the tournament, but with the official squads yet to be announced, there are some players who may not get a call-up, while there are some who are considered bankers to make it.

Out of the 20 Premier League clubs, only Newcastle and Manchester City have no African players in their respective squads so they will naturally be the least affected by the tournament. Nottingham Forest, meanwhile, could lose six players to the tournament in what could prove to be a pivotal factor in the relegation battle.

The guarantees

  • Aston Villa – Bertrand Traore (Burkina Faso)
  • Bournemouth – Dango Ouattara (Burkina Faso), Antoine Semenyo (Ghana), Hamad Traore (Ivory Coast).
  • Brentford – Yoane Wissa (DR Congo), Frank Onyeka (Nigeria).
  • Brighton – Simon Adingra (Ivory Coast).
  • Chelsea – Nicolas Jackson (Senegal).
  • Crystal Palace – Jordan Ayew (Ghana).
  • Everton – Idrissa Gueye (Senegal).
  • Fulham – Calvin Bassey (Nigeria), Alex Iwobi (Nigeria).
  • Liverpool – Mo Salah (Egypt).
  • Luton – Issa Kabore (Burkina Faso).
  • Man Utd – Hannibal Mejri (Tunisia), Sofyan Amrabat (Morocco).
  • Nottingham Forest – Willy Boly (Ivory Coast), Ibrahim Sangare (Ivory Coast), Ola Aina (Nigeria), Moussa Niakhate (Senegal), Cheikhou Kouyate (Senegal).
  • Sheffield United – Yasser Larouci (Algeria), Anis Ben Slimane (Tunisia).
  • Tottenham – Yves Bissouma (Mali).
  • West Ham – Said Benrahma (Algeria), Mohammed Kudus (Ghana), Nayef Aguerd (Morocco).
  • Wolves – Boubacar Traore (Mali), Rayan Ait-Nouri (Algeria).

The maybes

  • Arsenal – Mohamed Elneny, injury doubt (Egypt), Thomas Partey, injury doubt (Ghana).
  • Brighton – Carlos Baleba, uncapped (Cameroon), Tariq Lamptey, selection doubt (Ghana).
  • Burnley – Lyle Foster, personal reasons (South Africa), Anass Zaroury, selection doubt (Morocco).
  • Fulham – Fode Ballo-Toure, selection doubt (Senegal).
  • Luton – Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu, selection doubt (DR Congo).
  • Man Utd – Andre Onana, personal reasons (Cameroon), Amad Diallo, injury doubt (Ivory Coast).
  • Nottingham Forest – Serge Aurier, injury doubt (Ivory Coast).
  • Sheffield United – Benie Traore, uncapped (Ivory Coast), Ismaila Coulibaly, selection doubt (Mali).
  • West Ham – Maxwell Cornet, selection doubt (Ivory Coast).

The unavailables

  • Brentford – Bryan Mbuemo, injured (Cameroon).
  • Everton – Abdoulaye Doucouré, rejected the call-up (Mali).
  • Nottingham Forest – Taiwo Awoniyi, injured (Nigeria).
Which Premier League players are leaving for AFCON 2023
Nottingham Forest could lose as many as six players to AFCON 2023 – Photo by Icon sport

How many Premier League players went to AFCON 2021?

In the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, the Premier League lost 34 players, including then-Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Salah. The pair were away for the longest time possible and met in the final, with Mane's Senegal coming out on top in a penalty shootout after a drab 0-0 draw.

Liverpool signed Luis Diaz in January 2022 to soften the blow of losing Mane and Salah and Klopp's men faced no issues without them. The Reds won every league match in their absence and qualified for the Carabao Cup final, beating Arsenal 2-0 on aggregate.

Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance sports writer with ten years of experience covering major sporting events across Europe. He has also been a season ticket holder at Old Trafford since 2008 and has visited over 40 football stadiums in the United Kingdom and abroad following the Reds.

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