Who should we be keeping an eye on from South Africa, Morocco, Cape Verde and Angola in Group A of the Afcon 2013?
The African Cup of Nations gets under way on Saturday and despite its unfortunate disruption to some of Europe’s big leagues it remains the most popular international tournament other than the World Cup and Euros.
It also acts as a great scouting opportunity for European clubs in particular to run the rule over potential transfer targets who catch the eye.
So which players from Group A should we keep an eye on including hosts South Africa, Angola, Morocco and Cape Verde.
The 23-year-old is relatively new to the Bafana Bafana fold but is pushing for a starting place in Gordon Igesund’s South Africa side. A dynamic midfielder; with an abundance of energy expect him to never stop running throughout the entire tournament and at quite a pace as well. Currently playing in Sweden with Helsingborgs IF and in 2011 he was named the Allsvenskan player of the year. Currently nursing an injury but should be fit for the opening game with Cape Verde on Saturday.
It is a pretty unimaginative choice but quite frankly the only possible one to make. The former Manchester United striker has a simply sensational record for The Sable Antelopes averaging over a goal every game at the club. He has finally started to dig himself a career at domestic level with La Liga outfit Real Valladolid and if Angola progress beyond the Group Stage you can bet his goals played a massive part.
A former French futsal international such skills are clearly visible when you see the lad play. He has wonderful technical ability and is extremely skilful with the ball at his feet. With Adel Taarabt and Maraoune Chamakh both absent much of the responsibility will be on the Granada forward to produce his good club form in South Africa.
Cape Verde stunned many by beating Cameroon and qualifying for the Afcon but they do have some dangerous players in their arsenal that should not be underestimated. The goalkeeper unfortunately named Fock is one of the better on the continent but it is star striker Ryan Mendes who will bear the brunt of responsibility for the Blue Sharks. The 23-year-old Lille winger/forward has two Ligue 1 goals in just three starts and will be the tournament debutants main attacking threat at the competition.
Will you be keeping an eye on any of these players?