Coral’s five starlets to watch at 2015 Africa Cup of Nations
The 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) is set to start this month in Equatorial Guinea, so Coral writers make of list of five young players to look out for.
Many African stars have graced the English Premier League before, and we think these following starlets have the potential to shine over here as well one day. All the players we’ve picked are owned by French clubs.
Clinton N’Jie – Cameroon
The diminutive forward, 21, was used sparingly last season for Lyon, but the academy graduate has been blooded in all but one Ligue 1 game this term so far. That suggests the French club, who are famous for producing top young talent, rate him highly.
N’Jie is yet to make his mark in front of net for Lyon, but has scored three times in his first seven caps for AFCON 9/1 joint fourth-favourites Cameroon.
Pape Souare – Senegal
Lille left back Souare is already a name known to Premier League clubs, having been linked with London rivals and relegation candidates Crystal Palace (2/1) and QPR (evens) this summer.
The 24-year-old also played in both Europa League games against Everton this season, keeping a clean sheet at home.
Francois Kamano – Guinea
Kamano is the youngest person on this list, at 18 years of age, but the forward has been trusted by his club Bastia this season, as he has started each of the last 10 league games, scoring in his last match against Caen.
Uncapped by Guinea so far, he is likely to taste Africa Cup of Nations action.
Ismael Diomande – Ivory Coast
Defensive midfielder Diomande, 22, has done well to be called up by joint-favourites Ivory Coast (4/1), with the likes of Yaya Toure and Cheick Tiote also able to play in his position.
Diomande’s 2013/14 season for St-Etienne was hindered following an injury, after starting the campaign so well, but he has been eased back in the first team this term and has clearly shown enough quality to make the Elephants’ final roster.
Abdoulay Diaby – Mali
France-born forward Diaby is owned by Ligue 1 side Lille, but has been loaned out to newly-promoted Belgian top-flight club Royal Mouscron-Peruwelz, where he has thrived scoring 11 times in 21 games.
He is new to the Mali set-up, but already has a goal to his name for the Eagles and should get game time at the Equatorial Guinea finals.