The African Nations Cup Tournament has, somewhat controversially, continued to remain a January/February tournament, meaning that it falls right in the middle of several top-flight league seasons, around the world. Over the years, fans, teams and coaches have bemoaned the losses of their players to AFCON duties, but it really is one of those things that they’ve just had to live with.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the African Cup of Nations, Gabon 2017, as it relates to the most competitive top-flight league in the world; the English Premier League. For this year’s tournament, over 20 English Premier League players have been called up by their National teams. The Group stages of the tournament kick off on the 14th of January, on the same day as match day 21 of the EPL, and come to an end on the 25th of the same month, meaning all of these players will be absent for a minimum of 10 days (without even including time spent in transit), guaranteeing that they’ll miss match days 21 and 22, at the very least. Finally, if any of these players were to go on to win the tournament, they’d be looking at an EPL hiatus that would take them all the way through to (and probably past) match day 24.
Of course, this doesn’t affect all teams equally; especially Chelsea and Tottenham, who both have a pair of African starters who either failed to make the tournament, or chose not to play for their African nations of origin…
There are also other Premier League teams who have players who failed to make or refused their national team call-ups, and others with no African regulars at this current time. We’ll also be considering each player’s level of importance to his EPL club, and how far their national teams can expect to go in the tournament, which will help us estimate how long they’ll be gone. So, without further ado, here are the TOP ELVN English Premier League Players, at Gabon 2017.
(Use the numbers below to navigate through the pages.)