Mane & Keita join Salah on African Player of the Year shortlist

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The Liverpool trio join the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alex Iwobi on the 34-man list of candidates for this year's award

Mohamed Salah is joined by Liverpool team-mates Naby Keita and Sadio Mane on the preliminary list of nominees for the 2018 African Player of the Year award.

Salah scooped the individual prize in 2017 after impressing for both club and country, with Egypt reaching the Africa Cup of Nations final and also qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The 26-year-old faces competition for this year's honour from two familiar faces, with Guinea midfielder Keita - who moved to Liverpool in the last transfer window after agreeing to join from RB Leipzig the previous year - and Senegal forward Mane also in the running.

Riyad Mahrez and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who won the award in 2016 and 2015 respectively, are also included on a 34-name shortlist announced by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Aubameyang's Arsenal colleague Alex Iwobi of Nigeria is another on the list, along with Everton's Senegalese midfielder Idrissa Gueye and Wilfried Zaha, who represents the Ivory Coast.

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Other prominent Europe-based players nominated are Atletico Madrid's Thomas Partey, Medhi Benatia of Juventus, Ajax star Hakim Ziyech and Porto midfielder Yacine Brahimi.

The shortlist:

Abdelmoumene Djabou (Algeria & ES Setif), Ahmed Gomaa (Egypt & El Masry), Ahmed Musa (Nigeria & Al-Nassr), Alex Iwobi (Nigeria & Arsenal), Andre Onana (Cameroon & Ajax), Anis Badri (Tunisia & Esperance), Ayoub El Kaabi (Morocco & Hebei China Fortune), Ben Malango (DR Congo & TP Mazembe), Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns), Fanev Andriatsima (Madagascar & Clermont Foot), Franck Kom (Cameroon & Esperance), Jacinto Muondo Dala ‘Gelson’ (Angola & Primeiro de Agosto), Hakim Ziyech (Morocco & Ajax), Idrissa Gueye (Senegal & Everton), Ismail Haddad (Morocco & Wydad Athletic Club), Jean-Marc Makusu Mundele (DR Congo & AS Vita), Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal & Napoli), Mahmoud Benhalib (Morocco & Raja Club Athletic), Mehdi Benatia (Morocco & Juventus), Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Liverpool), Moussa Marega (Mali & Porto), Naby Keita (Guinea & Liverpool), Odion Ighalo (Nigeria & Changchun Yatai, Nigeria), Percy Tau (South Africa & Union Saint-Gilloise), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Arsenal), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Manchester City), Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool), Taha Khenissi (Tunisia & Esperance), Thomas Partey (Ghana & Atletico Madrid), Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia & Saint-Étienne), Walid Soliman (Egypt & Ahly), Wilfried Zaha (Cote d’Ivoire & Crystal Palace), Yacine Brahimi (Algeria & Porto), Youcef Belaili (Algeria & Esperance).

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