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AFCON- Africa Cup of Nations

Top five U-21 players to watch at AFCON 2023

Published at :January 9, 2024 at 4:30 PM
Modified at :January 9, 2024 at 4:30 PM
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(Courtesy : CAF)

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The 34th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations is set to kick off in a few days in Côte d’Ivoire.

As in previous editions of AFCON, several teams have chosen to include young players who will have the opportunity to showcase their talents on the world stage.

Here are the top five U-21 players to watch at AFCON 2023:

5. Michael Amir Richardson Junior (Morocco)

Joining Stade de Reims this season from Le Havre, 21-year-old Amir Richardson has had an almost perfect start to the season personally. The impact of the towering 6’5″ midfielder on Reims’ play is evident through his impressive statistics, boasting three goals in 14 matches. This performance earned him a spot among Walid Regragui’s 27-man squad, making him one of the surprises of the squad.

4. Ernest Nuamah (Ghana) 

With 14 appearances this season in Ligue 1 for Olympique Lyonnais, 20-year-old Ernest Nuamah plays a crucial role in the team’s setup. Acquired for €25 million from Nordsjaelland by Molenbeek before being sent to Lyon, the young winger has made an immediate impact, scoring a goal and providing an assist in the league. He earned his first cap for the Black Stars in June 2023, and his dynamic play is expected to add more flair to the already formidable attacking lineup.

3. Karim Konaté (Côte d’Ivoire) 

A year and a half ago (June 2022), Karim Konaté’s transfer from ASEC Mimosas to RB Salzburg made headlines. Following an incredible season with the Ivorian club, the 19-year-old forward attracted interest from top clubs worldwide. Born on March 21, 2004, Konaté continues to impress and will be one of the attractions for the Ivorian fans during this home-hosted CAN.

2. Wilfried Nathan Douala (Cameroon) 

Born on May 15, 2006, in Douala, Wilfried Nathan Douala is the surprise inclusion in Rigobert Song’s list for the CAF TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations 2023. A midfielder for Victoria United in Cameroon’s top division, the 17-year-old impressed the coaching staff with his immense technical potential and commendable performances in the league.

Also Read: Top seven best youngsters to watch out for at AFCON 2023

1. Lamine Camara (Senegal) 

At just 20 years old, Lamine Camara plays a pivotal role for French side Metz this season, contributing with 17 appearances, one goal, and two assists. Scoring for Senegal on November 18, 2023, against South Sudan in the World Cup 2026 qualifiers, Camara quickly gained the trust of coach Aliou Cisse.

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