Radio Football’s Ones to Watch: AFCON

Radio Football’s Ones to Watch: AFCON

4 June 2019 0 By Chris Stonadge

As you may have seen over the past few weeks, we have been analyzing a few of the notable sides heading to Egypt this year for the 32nd edition of the African Cup of Nations. We’ve taken a look at Ghana, Egypt and Senegal, and now with the tournament fast approaching, we as a collective want to gander amongst the most exciting young players from all nations competing for that famous trophy.

Chris Kelly‘s OTW: Ismael BENNACER

At 21, Bennacer sets to impress in his first AFCON after switching allegiances from France to Algeria.

(Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

Now a regular for Empoli after leaving Arsenal’s youth ranks, he is highly thought of as a complete midfielder in the Serie A.

His technical ability is second to none, he has a rocket of a left foot and has a fantastic engine. He has all of the required attributes to impress this year and in years to come.

Conor Smith‘s OTW: Mouusa DJENEPO

Linked with a £20m move to England from Standard Liege, the 20 year old Malian has bagged 11 goals and six assists this campaign.

Adept at playing anywhere across the front three, Djenepo showcased his talents on a bigger stage by scoring twice in a Europa League match with Sevilla.

With Mali having a favourable group, it certainly seems like the perfect time for Djenepo to break through internationally.


Louis Moir‘s OTW: Nicolas PEPE

One of the most talked about sagas this summer will surely be the whereabouts of Ivorian star Nicolas Pepe.

At 23 years old, the Lille forward smashed 33 goal contributions (22 goals, 11 assists) in Ligue 1 as Les Dogues finished second behind PSG.

It certainly will be interesting to see if Pepe lives up to the hype and potentially add a few noughts on his price tag.

Lille forward Nicolas Pepe arrives to take part in a TV show on May 19, 2019 in Paris, as part of the 28th edition of the UNFP (French National Professional Football players Union) trophy ceremony. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

Joe Downes‘ OTW: Victor OSIMHEN

Lagos-born striker Osimhen is set for AFCON after a cracking season in Belgium for RSC Charleroi.

The Wolfsburg loanee has lightning quick feet, pace to burn and versatility which has attracted interest from clubs across the globe. He scored 12 times last season in Belgium.

The Nigerian is surely a constant threat and one to keep a keen eye on.

KORTRIJK, BELGIUM – MAY 22: Victor Osimhen of Charleroi celebrates after winning the Jupiler Pro League play-off 2 final between Kv Kortrijk and Sporting Charleroi at Guldensporen Stadion on May 22, 2019 in Kortrijk, Belgium. (Photo by Vincent Van Doornick/Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images)

My (Stonno’s) OTW: Ebenezer OFORI

As a fan of MLS, I had to pick New York City’s stalwart from Ghana in Ebenezer Ofori. At 23, the midfielder is just two months younger than Pepe, who is the elder statesman of this list.

Ofori has been across the pond since the February of last year and has impressed with his marvellous engine and dynamic touch.

He was nominated for NYCFC’s Player of the month several times last season, and has continued his decent form into this one. A Ghanaian Wijnaldum.

BRIDGEVIEW, ILLINOIS – MAY 25: Ebenezer Ofori #12 of New York City FC passes against the Chicago Fire at SeatGeek Stadium on May 25, 2019 in Bridgeview, Illinois. The Fire and NYCFC tied 1-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

AFCON is just a few weeks away. Who’s made the best prediction?