Ba left out of Senegal AFCON squad

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Senegal have left Besiktas striker Demba Ba out of their preliminary squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.

Former West Ham, Newcastle United and Chelsea man Ba has scored 16 goals in 19 appearances in all competitions for the Super Lig outfit.

Despite his form, the forward has been left out by head coach Alain Giresse, with the tournament set to get under way in Equatorial Guinea in January.

Ba was not included in the party for their final qualifiers against Egypt and Botswana last month.

At the time, Giresse claimed the player was injured, which was publicly refuted by the 29-year-old.

Ba's former Newcastle team-mate Papiss Cisse could well provide Senegal's main goal threat, while the likes of West Ham's Diafra Sakho and Stoke City's Mame Biram Diouf are also included as forward options.

The news will come as a welcome boost for Besiktas, who could have been without the striker until the final on February 8.

Senegal have been drawn in Group C, where they will take on Ghana, Algeria and South Africa in their bid to reach the knockout stages.

Squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Pape Demba Camara (Sochaux), Bouna Coundoul (Ethnikos Achnas ), Lys Gomis (Trappani), Ousmane Mane (Diambars)

Defenders: Papy Djilobodji (Nantes), Boukary Drame (Atalanta), Lamine Gassama (Lorient), Ibrahima Mbaye (Inter), Cheikh Mbengue (Rennes), Kara Mbodj (Genk), Lamine Sane (Bordeaux), Pape Ndiaye Souare (Lille), Zargo Toure (Le Havre)

Midfielders: Stephane Badji (Brann), Pape Kouli Diop (Levante),  Idrissa Gana Gueye (Lille), Cheikhou Kouyate (West Ham), Alfred Ndiaye (Real Betis), Pape Alioune Ndiaye (Bodo Glimt), Salif Sane (Hanover)

Strikers: Papiss Cisse (Newcastle United), Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City), Moussa Konate (Sion), Sadio Mane (Southampton), Dame Ndoye (Lokomotiv Moscow), Henri Saivet (Bordeaux), Diafra Sakho (West Ham), Moussa Sow (Fenerbahce)