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All 39 Premier League players heading to AFCON & Asian Cup – advantage Man City?


Liverpool are set to lost Mohamed Salah and Wataru Endo to the Africa Cup of Nations and Asian Cup respectively, but they won’t be the only club suffering absences in the coming weeks.

The pair signed off with excellent performances in the 4-2 win over Newcastle and have headed off to meet up with their international team-mates to chase glory for their countries.

Both tournaments will run almost completely parallel with each other across the next few weeks, meaning several Premier League clubs will be without key players for their upcoming set of fixtures.

From a Liverpool perspective, the team who will be of greatest interest are Man City as they look set to go the distance in the title race once again.

Notably, they are one of just three clubs in the fortunate position of losing no players to either tournament, meaning that Pep Guardiola’s team selection will not be impacted in the slightest by international commitments.

EINDHOVEN, THE NETHERLANDS - Tuesday, December 12, 2023: Arsenal's Mohamed Elneny (L) is challenged by PSV Eindhoven's Malik Tillman during the UEFA Champions League Group B game between PSV Eindhoven and Arsenal FC at the Philips Stadion. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Arsenal also remain within striking distance of the top despite having dropped costly points in recent weeks, and they are set to be without Egypt’s Mohamed Elneny and Japan’s Takehiro Tomiyasu.

Surprise package Aston Villa will wave off Bertrand Traore as he joins the Burkina Faso squad for AFCON, while Tottenham will suffer the significant loss of South Korea’s Heung-Min Son to the Asian Cup, while Yves Bissouma and Pape Sarr also head to AFCON.

Neighbours Everton will lose Idrissa Gana Gueye to the Senegal squad, while Man United are set to be without Cameroon’s Andre Onana and Morocco’s Sofyan Amrabat.

Onana, however, will not travel until after Man United visit Tottenham on January 14, after the club agreed a late release with the goalkeeper’s country.

Some may argue it will be a bonus for them when he leaves!

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 26, 2023: Manchester United's goalkeeper André Onana during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Nottingham Forest FC at Old Trafford. Man Utd won 3-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Each player’s progress across the two competitions will dictate how long they will be away from their squads, with the vast majority having already departed to begin preparations.

The finals will take place on the same weekend, with the conclusion of the Asian Cup falling on Saturday, February 10 while AFCON comes to a close the following day.

Let’s take a look at the full list of Premier League clubs and which players they will be missing due to the two competitions:

  • Arsenal: Mohamed Elneny (Egypt), Takehiro Tomiyasu (Japan)
  • Bournemouth: Dango Ouattara (Burkina Faso), Antoine Semenyo (Ghana)
  • Brentford: Yoane Wissa (Congo), Ji-Soo Kim (South Korea), Saman Ghoddos (Iran), Frank Onyeka (Nigeria)
  • Brighton: Simon Adingra (Ivory Coast), Kaoru Mitoma (Japan)
  • Everton: Idrissa Gana Gueye (Senegal)
  • Fulham: Fode-Ballo Toure (Senegal), Calvin Bassey (Nigeria), Alex Iwobi (Nigeria)

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 6, 2023: Liverpool's Wataru Endo during the FA Premier League match between Sheffield United FC and Liverpool FC at Bramall Lane. Liverpool won 2-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Luton: Issa Kabore (Burkina Faso)
  • Man United: Andre Onana (Cameroon), Sofyan Amrabat (Morocco)
  • Nottingham Forest: Serge Aurier (Ivory Coast), Willy Boly (Ivory Coast), Ibrahim Sangare (Ivory Coast), Cheikou Kouyate (Senegal), Moussa Niakhate (Senegal), Ola Aina (Nigeria)
  • Tottenham: Pape Sarr (Senegal), Heung-Min Son (South Korea), Yves Bissouma (Mali)
  • West Ham: Nayef Aguerd (Morocco), Mohammed Kudus (Ghana)
  • Wolves: Hee-Chan Hwang (South Korea), Rayan Ait-Nouri (Algeria), Boubacar Traore (Mali), Justin Hubner (Indonesia)