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Top 10 players who will miss Premier League action in January due to AFCON 2023 and AFC Asian Cup 2023

Published at :December 23, 2023 at 3:31 PM
Modified at :January 14, 2024 at 12:31 AM
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The International exodus navigating Premier League challenges without key talents

As the footballing world gears up for the much-anticipated African Cup of Nations (AFCON) and AFC Asian Cup 2023, Premier League clubs are bracing themselves for the absence of some key players. The January transfer window is always a crucial period, but this year, numerous teams will be without their star performers due to international duty.

Here we take a look at the top 10 players who will miss Premier League action in January due to AFCON and AFC Asian Cup 2023:

10. Mohammed Kudus (West Ham, Ghana)

West Ham secured the services of Mohammed Kudus this summer, attracting attention from top European clubs. The Ghanaian midfielder’s late arrival has delayed his full impact on the Premier League, and West Ham fans will have to wait further as he heads to the 2023 AFCON.

9. Antoine Semenyo (Bournemouth, Ghana)

 Despite not making a thunderous impact in the Premier League since joining Bournemouth, Antoine Semenyo consistently finds a place in the Ghana squad. His contributions will be crucial for Ghana in AFCON, and Bournemouth will miss his services during January fixtures.

8. Nicolas Jackson (Senegal)

Nicolas Jackson Chelsea
Nicolas Jackson is likely to pair up with Sadio Mane for Senegal in the winter tournament

Chelsea‘s summer signing, Nicolas Jackson, has attracted attention with his goal-scoring prowess. Likely to pair up with Sadio Mane for Senegal in the winter tournament, Jackson’s move to Chelsea positions him as a key player to watch in AFCON.

7. Yoane Wissa (DR Congo)

With Ivan Toney out, Yoane Wissa has taken on additional goalscoring responsibilities for Brentford. DR Congo will rely on Wissa’s impact in AFCON, and his performances will be closely watched as he aims to replicate his domestic success on the international stage.

6. Rayan Ait-Nouri (Wolves, Algeria)

Wolves will be without Rayan Ait-Nouri for tomorrow’s trip to Arsenal due to damaged ankle ligaments. The Algerian limped off during Monday’s 3-2 defeat at Fulham, adding to the growing list of absentees for Premier League clubs in January.

5. Hwang Hee-Chan (Wolves, South Korea):

Wolves are another side who will be hit hard by the loss of a key player in South Korea’s Hwang Hee-Chan. The forward has been in terrific form this season, scoring eight goals in 16 league games which has been vital to Gary O’Neil’s side staying out of the relegation fight so far. It will be a big loss for Wolves who will hope the likes of Matheus Cunha and Sasa Kalajdzic can contribute more while he is away.

4. Andre Onana (Manchester United, Cameroon)

The decision for goalkeeper Andre Onana to participate in AFCON could impact more than a month of Manchester United‘s campaign. With scrutiny mounting due to a poor start to the season, Onana faces a crucial career decision. The absence of the Indomitable Lions goalkeeper adds to United’s challenges both domestically and in Europe.

3. Kaoru Mitoma (Brighton, Japan)

Kaoru Mitoma Brighton
Kaoru Mitomawill be representing Japan at AFC Asian Cup 2023

Brighton‘s dynamic winger, Kaoru Mitoma, will be representing Japan in the upcoming tournament. Despite his intermittent appearances in the team, Mitoma’s absence will be felt by manager Roberto de Zerbi. The responsibility now falls on other attacking talents like Joao Pedro, Simon Adingra, Evan Ferguson, and Facundo Buonanotte to compensate for Mitoma’s departure.

2. Heung-Min Son (Tottenham Hotspur, South Korea)

Tottenham Hotspur faces a significant setback as they lose their captain and star man, Heung-Min Son. With 10 goals in 16 Premier League games this season, Son’s absence will be deeply felt by Spurs. The challenge for manager Ange Postecoglou is daunting, especially with Yves Bissouma and Pape Sarr also set to participate in Asian Cup, further depleting the squad.

1. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, Egypt)

Mohamed Salah, Liverpool‘s talisman, has been a linchpin in the team’s forward line. His absence in crucial Premier League fixtures against Bournemouth, Chelsea, and Arsenal will undoubtedly test Liverpool’s attacking prowess. Additionally, rumors circulate about a potential move to Al Ittihad during the winter transfer window, adding an extra layer of intrigue to Salah’s international duty.

As we approach the turn of the year, the Premier League landscape is set for a seismic shift. The absence of these top 10 players due to their participation in AFCON and the Asian Cup 2023 will undoubtedly create challenges for their respective clubs. Managers will need to devise strategies to cope with the temporary loss of key personnel, and fans will eagerly await the return of their footballing heroes. The international tournaments promise excitement and drama, but the ripple effects will be felt across the Premier League in January and beyond.

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