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 that catch the eye.
So which players from Group B should we keep an eye on including Ghana, Mali, Niger and Congo DR.
We have taken a look at this talented winger in the past and he has recently cemented his place as a major part of the Black Stars blueprint. Blistering pace is his main asset but it is what he does with that pace that makes him such a dangerous opponent. He scored on his international debut last June and the 21-year-old Porto player is apparently a target for Tottenham this January.
Simply put the man is a mountain of a centre forward. While his height of 6ft 4ins may not seem superlatively tall it is his build that really makes him such a danger as well. The 24-year-old is currently at Bordeaux and will be well known to Newcastle fans; he scored both goals in the Europa League defeat in France at the start of December. He will be key to his nations hopes; where success on the football pitch could be a positive distraction from worrying events at home.
Ouwa Moussa Maazou
If Niger are going to pull anything off in this competition then much if the hope rests on the captain Maazou. The former CSKA Moscow, Monaco and Bordeaux striker is currently playing in Tunisia with Etoile du Sahel. On his day he is a goal machine so will have to be shackled by opposing defences.
It has been a topsy-turvy international career for Mbokani and at the moment it is still not entirely clear whether he will feature for the team or not. However the expectation is that the Anderlecht striker will be there and if he is then The Leopards have a real chance of winning their first title since 1974. If Mbokani is absent than Tresor Mputu of TP Mazembe is certainly a player to keep your eyes on.
Will you be keeping an eye on any of these players?
image: © jikatu