CAN 2022: Ranking of the 10 best players of the African championship

The Africa Cup of Nations is always a star-studded event, and while it can put a strain on top clubs losing some of their best players, fans get to watch some of the best in the world in action on the international scene.

A host of top offensive players will take part in CAN 2022, but there are also plenty of goalkeepers, defenders and midfield maestros who are undisputed world-class talents.

While many of the top stars hail from the Premier League, there are also players from Serie A, Ligue 1, and even Eredivisie as Europe sends some of its star protagonists to the competition.

MORE: All Premier League players summoned to CAN 2022

Top 10 players of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations

10. Achraf Hakimi (Right back, Morocco)

  • Club: Paris Saint-Germain (France)
  • Age: 23
  • Caps: 41
  • Goals: 5

Hakimi has been one of Africa’s best young talents for years, as evidenced by his 41 international caps at the age of 23. Winning a big transfer from Inter Milan to PSG last summer, Hakimi took off in Paris, where he contributed three goals and three assists from his right-back position. He has been part of Moroccan training for the past two years and has played every minute of the team’s race to the knockout stages of CAN 2019. His teammate Youssef En-Nesyri will be the beneficiary of Hakimi’s crosses .

9. Kalidou Koulibaly (Central file, Senegal)

  • Club: Naples (Italy)
  • Age: 30
  • Caps: 53
  • Goals: 0

The Napoli star grabbed the headlines two years ago as a high-value transfer target, and he’s still one of Europe’s top defenders. SofaScore has ranked Koulibaly as Serie A’s best center-back this season, while WhoScored places him second. Koulibaly suffers from a hamstring injury but has been included in the Senegalese squad, suggesting he may be available soon. It is no coincidence that Napoli only lost one league game until his injury, when the club lost three of four during his absence.

8. Wilfred Ndidi (Defender / Midfielder, Nigeria)

  • Club: Leicester City (England)
  • Age: 25
  • Caps: 43 caps
  • Goals: 0

Already injured Leicester City will be missed by Ndidi in the worst possible way. He is one of the Premier League’s most underrated players and will be key to Nigeria’s chances of winning a tournament. Sometimes moved to center-back, Ndidi averages nearly four successful tackles per game and took on N’Golo Kante’s role as a midfield force with the Foxes. As Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa receive the applause in front of goal, it will be Ndidi’s performance that will determine how far Nigeria can go.

MORE: Who will win the CAN? Betting odds and futures

7. Sébastien Haller (Forward, Ivory Coast)

  • Club: Ajax (Netherlands)
  • Age: 27
  • Caps: 8
  • Goals: 3

While Haller looked mediocre at best during his Premier League stint with West Ham, he is an entirely different player this season and a real contender for the tournament’s top scorer title. Indeed, he can claim to be in the best form of anyone in the competition, scoring an incredible 10 goals in his six Champions League group stage appearances this campaign, plus 12 more in 17 Eredivisie appearances. Look past Haller and you might miss one of the tournament’s most exciting players. He could enjoy himself, especially when he was supported by Wilfried Zaha and Nicolas Pepe in attack.

6. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Forward, Gabon)

  • Club: Arsenal (England)
  • Age: 32
  • Caps: 71
  • Goals: 29

Frozen from the Arsenal squad and rumored to be Aubameyang will be very hungry this month to take part in the AFCON event and remind the world – and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta – of his worth. Aubameyang started the championship season slowly before his eventual ban, and the international stage offers a chance to return to its best. Since November 2020, thanks to CAN qualification and World Cup qualification, Gabon has 4V-0L-0D when Aubameyang scores a goal and 0V-5L-1D when he does not, so their hopes tournaments depend entirely on his success in front of goal.

5. Thomas Partey (Midfielder, Ghana)

  • Club: Arsenal (England)
  • Age: 28
  • Caps: 34
  • Goals: 12

Thomas Partey has quietly become one of the Premier League’s most valuable players, and his loss will be felt at Arsenal. Indeed, rumor has it that the Gunners are diving into the transfer market just to cover the month he might be gone. Second to Arsenal’s squad for successful tackles and third for successful dribbles, Partey is a true box-to-box talent who can take Ghana to the knockout stage.

4. Edouard Mendy (Goalkeeper, Senegal)

  • Club: Chelsea (England)
  • Age: 29
  • Caps: 16
  • Goals: 0

Attacking talent tops this list for obvious reasons, but Edouard Mendy has proven to be one of the best Premier League players since joining Chelsea in 2020, and his talent should be fully showcased in this. competition. Mendy helped push Senegal to the final of the 2019 competition, and they will be intent on overcoming the final hurdle this time around. The 29-year-old is statistically one of the best goalkeepers in the EPL this season, ranked in the top five by WhoScored and SofaScore, which means Senegal are emerging as one of the best in the world at the top. of its shape.

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3. Sadio Mane (Forward, Senegal)

  • Club: Liverpool (England)
  • Age: 29
  • Caps: 80 capsules
  • Goals: 26

Liverpool lose two of the best forwards and Sadio Mane are preparing to lead a Senegalese team of stars. Mane looks tired of overuse for Liverpool at times this season, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see Senegal rest him at times throughout the group stage, but the tournament could also be an opportunity for the star of the Reds to return to his best. : Mané has scored seven goals in his last 11 Senegalese appearances in the competition.

2. Riyad Mahrez (Forward, Algeria)

  • Club: Manchester City (England)
  • Age: 30
  • Caps: 70
  • Goals: 26

Best player of the reigning African champions, Mahrez has established himself as one of Man City’s most important players this season and is expected to bring excellent attacking form to the tournament. Mahrez scored a critical goal at the end of a CAN 2019 semi-final and is expected to have bigger contributions to make this season as Algeria hope to defend their title.

1. Mohamed Salah (Forward, Egypt)

  • Club: Liverpool (England)
  • Age: 29
  • Caps: 74
  • Goals: 45

Show star Mohamed Salah is in spectacular scoring form, leading the Premier League in goals. He hopes that this form will continue until the CAN, where Salah will be the most prolific scorer of all the players in the tournament: 45 international goals out of 74 caps.

Other players to watch at CAN 2022

  • Eric Bailly (Defender, Ivory Coast / Manchester United)
  • Baghdad Bounedjah (Forward, Algeria / Al Sadd)
  • Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Forward, Cameroon / Bayern Munich)
  • Kelechi Iheanacho (Before, Nigeria / Leicester City)
  • Naby Keïta (Midfielder, Guinea / Liverpool)
  • Wahbi Khazri (Forward, Tunisia / Saint-Etienne)
  • Rais M’Bolhi (Goalkeeper, Algeria / Al-Ettifaq FC)
  • André Onana (Goalkeeper, Cameroon / Ajax)
  • Nicolas Pepe (Forward, Ivory Coast / Arsenal)
  • Romain Saiss (Defender, Morocco / Wolves)
  • Jean-Michel Seri (Midfielder, Ivory Coast / Fulham FC)
  • Trézeguet (Midfielder, Egypt / Aston Villa)
  • Wilfried Zaha (Forward, Ivory Coast / Crystal Palace)