Which Premier League players will miss January action through the Africa Cup of Nations and the Asian Cup?

Which Premier League players will miss January action through the Africa Cup of Nations and the Asian Cup?


Premier League clubs will lose players to take part in international tournaments in Asia and Africa this winter; the Asian Cup runs from January 12 to January 25; the Africa Cup of Nations runs from January 13 to February 11

Manchester City could have an advantage in the Premier League title race through January as their rivals face up to losing key players to the African Cup of Nations and Asian Cup.

As the Premier League emerges from a frantic set of festive fixtures with only six points separating the top five, managers will be busy drawing up contingency plans.

Some will likely deem it necessary to dip in to the transfer market to make up for the loss of some top performers.

But while Liverpool will lose Egyptian Mohamed Salah and Tottenham will have to make do without South Korea’s Heung-Min Son, champions Manchester City will be unaffected.

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Liverpool will have to make do without key forward Mohamed Salah when he captains Egypt

City manager Pep Guardiola does not have a single player jetting off to either the Ivory Coast or Qatar for the continental tournaments that start on January 13 and January 12 respectively and run for almost a month.

Leaders Liverpool, who head Aston Villa by three points after their win over Newcastle on Monday, will wave goodbye to Salah who with 14 goals is the joint-top scorer in the Premier League this season, equal with Erling Haaland.

They will also be missing combative midfielder Wataru Endo who will join up with Japan.

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“It’s a bit of a shame how he found his feet and now he goes to the Asian Cup,” manager Juergen Klopp said.

Which Premier League clubs have most players missing?

Surprise title challengers Villa will only lose squad player Bertrand Traore to Burkina Faso but fourth-placed Arsenal will be harder hit with Mohamed Elneny (Egypt) and Takehiro Tomiyasu (Japan) both heading off for an unspecified amount of time, depending on the progress of their nations.

Tottenham have been bedevilled by injuries in the last couple of months and now manager Ange Postecoglou will have to adapt to captain Son, who has scored 12 league goals, representing South Korea. The north Kondon club also lose midfielder Yves Bissouma to Mali while Pape Sarr, who was injured against Bournemouth on Sunday, is part of Senegal’s squad.

Resurgent West Ham, who are in sixth place, will be hampered by the absence of key Ghana midfielder Mohammed Kudus.

Meanwhile, Manchester United‘s under-pressure manager Erik Ten Hag could do without losing Andre Onana (Cameroon) and Sofyan Amrabat (Morocco) as he tries to turn around what has been a dreadful season so far.

Son Heung-min was given a hero's welcome in Wales
Son captains South Korea

At the other end of the table, Nottingham Forest are the worst hit as they prepare to make do without six players for the next few weeks, including Ivory Coast trio Serge Aurier, Willy Boly and Ibrahim Sangare.

Struggling Brentford will be without midfielders Saman Ghoddos (Iran) and Frank Onyeka (Nigeria), along with striker Yoane Wissa (DR Congo).

The Premier League takes a breather this weekend with the FA Cup third round taking precedence, while all clubs will have one of the two following weekends off in a mini winter break.

By that stage the group stages of the AFCON and Asian Cup will be virtually over, meaning some players may be heading back.

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Take a look at the list of potential players that could be playing at AFCON and the Asian Cup from the top 10 teams in the Premier League

Teams yet to announce squads:

AFCON (the final 27-player squads must be selected by Jan 3): The Gambia, Namibia and Tanzania

Asian Cup (the final 26-player squads must be selected by Jan 2): Bahrain, Iran, Oman, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Uzbekistan.

What are the key AFCON and Asian Cup dates?

Africa Cup of Nations

Group stages: January 13 to January 24

Round of 16: January 27 to January 30

Quarter-finals: February 2 to February 3

Semi-finals: February 7

Third-placed play-off: February 10

Final: February 11

Asian Cup

Group stages: January 12 to January 25

Round of 16: January 28 to January 31

Quarter-finals: February 2 to February 3

Semi-finals: February 6 to February 7

Final: February 10


Japan's Takehiro Tomiyasu is pictured prior the international friendly soccer match between USA and Japan in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Arsenall will lose Takehiro Tomiyasu when he joins up with Japan

  • Mohamed Elneny (Egypt)
  • Takehiro Tomiyasu (Japan)

Aston Villa

  • Bertrand Traore (Burkina Faso)


  • Dango Ouattara (Burkina Faso)
  • Antoine Semenyo (Ghana)


  • Yoane Wissa (Congo)
  • Ji-Soo Kim (South Korea)
  • Saman Ghoddos (Iran)
  • Frank Onyeka (Nigeria)


  • Simon Adingra (Ivory Coast) – injury doubt
  • Kaoru Mitoma (Japan) – injury doubt


No players.


  • Nicolas Jackson (Senegal)

Crystal Palace

  • Jordan Ayew (Ghana)


  • Idrissa Gana Gueye (Senegal)


  • Fode Ballo-Toure (Senegal)
  • Calvin Bassey (Nigeria)
  • Alex Iwobi (Nigeria)


  • Wataru Endo (Japan)
  • Mohamed Salah (Egypt)


  • Issa Kabore (Burkina Faso)

Man City

No players.

Man Utd

Andre Onana
Man Utd No 1 Andre Onana will represent Cameroon

  • Andre Onana (Cameroon)
  • Sofyan Amrabat (Morocco)


No players.

Nottingham Forest

  • Serge Aurier (Ivory Coast)
  • Willy Boly (Ivory Coast)
  • Ibrahim Sangare (Ivory Coast)
  • Cheikou Kouyate (Senegal)
  • Moussa Niakhate (Senegal)
  • Ola Aina (Nigeria)

Sheffield United

  • Anis Ben Slimane (Tunisia)
  • Yasser Larouci (Algeria)


  • Pape Sarr (Senegal)
  • Heung-Min Son (South Korea)
  • Yves Bissouma (Mali)

West Ham

  • Nayef Aguerd (Morocco)
  • Mohammed Kudus (Ghana)


  • Hee-Chan Hwang (South Korea)
  • Rayan Ait-Nouri (Algeria)
  • Boubacar Traore (Mali)
  • Justin Hubner (Indonesia)

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