Ivory Coast coach Ibrahima Camara has surprisingly dropped Wilfried Zaha from the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier squad to face Rwanda in Kigali on September 9.
Zaha, who has two goals in eight Ivory Coast appearances since his international debut last year, has been in scintillating form for Palace and his omission from the Elephants squad is the major talking point.
A BBC source has been quoted as saying, “Wilfried Zaha has been left out for personal reasons, I can't say more than that.”
Also missing from the 23-man squad is 2015 Afcon-winning captain Yaya Toure who came out of international retirement last July but is currently clubless.
There has also been no places for forwards Gervinho and Seydou Doumbia who struck a brace as Ivory Coast were upstaged 3-2 by Guinea at home in their opening Afcon qualifier last year in June.
However, Manchester United defender Eric Bailly, Fulham’s Jean Michael Seri and Tottenham fullback Serge Aurier are some of the regulars to have been retained.
Ivory Coast squad:
Goalkeepers: Sayouba Mandé (Odense BK, Denmark), Badra Ali Sangare (Free State, South Africa), Sylvain Gbohouo (TP Mazembe, DR Congo)
Defenders: Eric Bailly (Manchester United, England), Serge Aurier (Tottenham Hotspur, England), Mamadou Bagayoko (KV Mechelen, Belgium), Ghislain Konan (Reims, France), Adama Traore (Göztepe, Turkey),Kouadio-Yves Dabila (Lille, France), Lamine Kone (Strasbourg, France), Wilfried Kanon (Ado Den Haag, Holland)
Midfielders: Jean Michaël Seri (Fulham, England), Serey Dié (Basel, Switzerland), Jean-Eudes Aholou (Monaco, France), Franck Kessié (AC Milan, Italy), Cheick Doukouré (Levante, Spain), Serge N'Guessan (Nancy, France)
Forwards: Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa, England), Roger Assalé (Young Boys, Switzerland), Nicolas Pépé (Lille, France), Max-Alain Gradel (Toulouse, France), Vakoun Issouf Bayo (Dunajská Streda, Slovakia), Maxwell Cornet (Lyon, France)