Zaha, Kessie make list as Cote d’Ivoire Coach Beaumelle reveals final squad for Cameroon 2021

By Harry Awurumibe, Editor Abuja Bureau
Crystal Palace of England FC talisman, Willfred Zaha and AC Milan forward Frank Kessie are notable names in the list as Cote d’Ivoire Head Coach, Patrice Beaumelle on Thursday released his final 28-man squad for January’s  TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Cameroon 2021.
‘The Elephants’ as the Ivoirens are called were drawn in Group E with AFCON title holders, Algeria; West African neighbours, Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea.
However, Crystal Palace star Zaha is back in the list for the tournament in January after missing the last two rounds of the World Cup qualifiers last month. Arsenal forward Nicolas Pepe also made the final list of players to represent the 2015 champions.
Teenager Amad Diallo failed to make the cut while experienced winger Gervinho Kouassi has been ruled out because of an injury just as the 2015 AFCON winning players including Serey Die Geoffroy, Eric Bertrand Bailly, Max Alain Gradel and Serge Aurier have all been named in the final squad.
The others are Jean Daniel Akpa-Akpro, Wilfried Kanon and goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo who was second choice at that time. Ajax star and UEFA Champions League leading top scorer Sebastien Haller made the Elephants squad for the Africa’s biggest football competition.
ASEC Mimosas teenage sensation Karim Konate was named by Beaumelle in the sqaud.
The 17-year-old striker has netted 13 goals in 11 appearances in the Ivorian Ligue 1, CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup this season.
Cote d’Ivoire who are making their 24th appearance at the AFCON tournament will tackle Equatorial Guinea in their opening group stage game.
Beaumelle’s side will play against West African neighbours Sierra Leone before facing Algeria in the last round of the group games.
Full Squad:
Sylvain Gbohouo (Wolkite Ketema, Ethiopia), Badra Ali (JDR Stars, South Africa), Ira Tapé (FC San Pedro), Cissé Abdul Karim (ASEC Mimosas).
Serge Aurier (Villareal, Spain), Éric Bailly (Manchester United, England), Willy Boly (Wolverhampton, England), Wilfried Kanon (Pyramids FC, Egypt), Odilon Kossonou (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany), Simon Deli (Adana Demirspor, Turkey); Ghislain Konan (Reims, France)
Midfielders: Habib Maiga (Metz, France), Serey Die (FC Sion, Switzerland), Ibrahim Sangaré (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands), Jean Daniel Akpa Akpro (Lazio, Italy), Franck Kessie (AC Milan, Italy), Hamed Junior Traoré (Sassuolo, Italy), Jean Michael Seri (Fulham, England)
Maxwell Cornet (Burnley, England), Max Gradel (Sivasspor, Turkey), Jérémie Boga (Sassuolo, Italy), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace, England), Jean Évrard Kouassi (Trabzonspor, Turkey), Nicolas Pépé (Arsenal, England), Christian Kouame (Anderlecht, Belgium), Sebastien Haller (Ajax, Netherlands), Johan Boli (Al- Rayan, Qatar), Konaté Karim (ASEC Mimosas).

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