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Premier League clubs who have received reinforcements from the AFCON

Thursday 2nd February 2017
A lot has been made of the ongoing African Cup of Nations held in Gabon, and how Premier League clubs will miss their players who will be participating in the competition. However, with the AFCON gradually coming to a close, some Premier League teams have received reinforcements from the odd-year tournament.

If you're one of our loyal readers, then you must have read plenty of articles here, written by some superb writers about the African Cup of Nations (AFCON).  One colossal effect of this tournament is the number of integral members of Premier League clubs who are conspicuously missing during the one-month span of the African footballing event.

In this article, my colleague, Prince Toby, talked about the number of Premier League players who were missing for their clubs due to the AFCON, however, as the tournament nears its close, many Premier League teams whose players were missing due to the AFCON have been boosted by their return.

Let's have a quick run through of these teams, shall we?


The Reds have Sadio Mané back from the AFCON – what a massive boost for Jurgen Klopp's side. Mané was sorely missed by Liverpool as they suffered a dip in form, but with the return of the Senegalese attacker (who featured against Chelsea), Liverpool can hope for a resurgence.

Leicester City

Leicester City can heave a sigh of relief; with two of their absentees for the AFCON now available for selection, Claudio Ranieri can hope for a change of fortune. Islam Slimani and Riyad Mahrez are both back in England after Algeria got booted out of the tournament in the group stage.

West Ham

West Ham has received reinforcements in the mode of Diafra Sakho and Cheikhou Kouyate; the duo have both returned from AFCON duties after failing to help Senegal avoid elimination at the hands of Cameroun. Sofiane Fehgouli is also back to base after a dismal outing with Algeria.

Crystal Palace

Wilfred Zaha is already back in England, doing what he does best, and helping Crystal Palace win games. He's been such a huge addition to Sam Allardyce's side. The Ivorian was on for 90 minutes as Palace beat Bournemouth 2-nill on Tuesday.


Middlesbrough have Adama Traore back from Gabon – Traore was one big absentee for Aitor Karanka's Boro but the Malian is back from the AFCON having been unable to help his country go beyond the preliminary stages.


David Moyes needs as much help as he can get as Sunderland enters into a crunch relegation battle – that is exactly what the return of the likes of Lamine Kone and Didier Ndong mean to Moyes. A couple of days ago, Papy Djilobodji also returned to rejoin the Black Cats, making Moyes's team just a little stronger.


Although he did not feature in the game against Stoke last night, Idrissa Gana Gueye is another invaluable addition to Ronald Koeman's Everton from the AFCON. The midfielder has proven to be one of the best bargains of last summer's transfer window.
Koeman said of Idrissa Gueye's return: “Gana has shown to be an important player, aggressive and winning second balls. We have good competition [in midfield] but I am happy to have him back.”

As the dust of the African Cup of Nations continues to settle, Premier League teams who missed players due to their involvement in the tournament can count on enjoying some squad depth.
Kingsley Ukpai

Kingsley is a football aficionado who craves to read, watch, play and write about the greatest team sport ever known to man. If you're talking football he'll be keen to listen to what you have to say. Loves to play Fantasy Football too.

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