Africa Cup of Nations: 11 stars eager to put themselves in the shop window
9. Molla Wague (Mali)
Born in the north of France, the 6ft 3in stopper made two appearances for Les Bleus’ Under-19s before switching to Mali
Now in his third season on loan at Udinese from sister side Granada, who themselves acquired him from Caen in 2014, central defender Molla Wague is allegedly a transfer target for West Ham, Southampton and Watford. Born in the north of France, the 6ft 3in stopper made two appearances for les Bleus’ U19s before switching his international allegiance to Mali in time for the 2013 Cup of Nations in South Africa.
10. Rachid Ghezzal (Algeria)
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Another player who was eligible to represent France at senior level, Rachid Ghezzal chose Algeria instead and is set to make his first tournament appearance for the North Africans in Gabon. Atletico Madrid, Everton, Tottenham, Liverpool and West Ham are just some of the clubs who have been mentioned in relation to a move for the Lyon winger in the last few months, with the 24-year-old seemingly ready to take the next step in his career.
Having said that, he may opt to wait until the summer – when he will be a free agent – before seeking pastures new, particularly as there is a good chance that the Algerians will advance to the latter stages of this competition.
11. Thomas Partey (Ghana)
Thomas Partey has been on the pitch for only 40 minutes of Atletico Madrid’s La Liga campaign and looks set to move on sooner rather than later. The Ghanaian midfielder, who is adept at regaining possession in the centre of the park and carrying the ball forward, has been linked with Watford and Southampton.
First, though, he’ll be looking to help the Black Stars to their first AFCON trophy since they defeated hosts Libya in the 1982 final.