Senegal coach Aliou Cisse has dropped Galatasaray midfielder Badou Ndiaye from his 23-man squad to face Sudan home and away next month.
Fresh from a surprise 2-2 draw with Madagascar in Antananarivo, the Teranga Lions host Sudan on October 13, before facing the same side away in Khartoum three days later.
But it is the omission of Ndiaye that has become the biggest talking point of Cisse’s squad.
The midfielder was at the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia and his omission is surprising after playing the entire match for Galatasaray in a league match against Akhisarspor last Sunday.
“The choice not to summon a player is huge,” Cisse was quoted as saying by WiwSport.
“We must respect the players who have been called-up. They have the talent and they deserve to be there. This does not mean that others who are not there would not deserve to be there. Nothing is fixed. The skeleton of the group has been there for three years.
“18 players have been there since 2017. Now, as I said, we tend to open the team from time to time to new players. We”ll open it to local football when the championship starts.”
Nantes defender Kara Mbodji, who never came off the bench at the World Cup, has again been overlooked after being dropped from the trip to Madagascar.
Olympiacos defender Pape Abou Cisse has been handed a debut call-up together with Sidy Sarr of Chateauroux.
Barcelona right-back Moussa Wague, one of Senegal’s best performing players at the World Cup remains sidelined by injury.
Goalkeepers: Abdoulaye Diallo (Rennes, France), Alfred Gomis (Spal, Italy), Edouard Mendy (Reims, France)
Defenders: Ibrahima Mbaye (Bologna, Italy), Lamine Gassama (Goztepe, Turkey), Adama Mbengue (Caen, France), Kalidou Koulibaly (Naples, Italy), Salif Sané (Schakle 04, Germany), Youssouf Sabaly (Bordeaux, France), Pape Abou Cissé (Olympiacos, Greece)
Midfielders: Cheikhou Kouyaté (Crystal Palace, England), Sidy Sarr (Chateauroux, France), Idrissa Gana Gueye (Everton, England), Cheikh Ndoye( Angers, France), Alfred Ndiaye (Malaga, Spain).
Forwards: Mbaye Niang (Rennes, France), Ismaila Sarr (Rennes, France), Diao Baldé Keita (Inter Milan, Italy), Moussa Konaté (Amiens, France), Mbaye Diagne (Kasimpasa, Turkey), Sadio Mané (Liverpool, England), Opa Nguette ( Metz, France), Amath Ndiaye Diedhiou (Getafe, Spain).