Picking a Dream XI who will miss the Africa Cup of Nations

Wanyama, Tau, SamattaGoal/Getty
  • Ronwen Williams, Bafana Bafana, October 2020Backpagepix

    Ronwen Williams

    The South Africa stopper will be missing from the tournament following Bafana Bafana’s defeat by Sudan.

    The SuperSport United man conceded twice on the day, but could hardly be blamed for the goals.

  • Djene Dakonam of Getafe

    Djene Dakonam

    Talented centre-back who has been linked with a move to Arsenal and Barcelona in recent transfer windows.

    The Getafe man will be absent from the tournament after Togo crashed out of qualification.

  • Ilkay Gundogan Manchester City Chancel Mbemba Porto 2020-21Getty Images

    Chancel Mbemba

    The Democratic Republic of Congo will be among the biggest absentees at the Nations Cup after being pipped by Gambia and Gabon.

    Mbemba, who will be competing with FC Porto against Chelsea in the Champions League quarter-finals, will be one of the best African centre-backs to miss out.

  • Clinton Mata Club Brugge 2019 2020GettyImages

    Clinton Mata

    Belgium-born Angola defender who is still waiting for his first appearance at the Nations Cup despite committing himself to the Palancas Negras back in 2014.

  • Ihlas Bebou - Hoffenheim 2019-20Getty

    Ihlas Bebou

    Making our team ahead of Silas Wamangituka, Bebou has had a hand in 12 goals in the Bundesliga this season for Hoffenheim.

    Despite excelling in one of the world’s biggest leagues, the wideman was unable to inspire Togo to the continental high table.

  • Victor Wanyama of Kenya and Montreal Impact and Harambee Stars.FKF.

    Victor Wanyama

    Overlooked for Kenya’s final qualifiers, it remains to be seen whether Wanyama still has a future with the Harambee Stars.

    The Montreal man will surely be distraught that Kenya failed to build on their Afcon qualification in 2019 and have missed out on next year’s tournament.

  • Geoffrey Kondogbia Valencia 2020Getty

    Geoffrey Kondogbia

    Kondogbia’s decision to represent the Central African Republic—giving up any hope of a future with France—isn’t proving to be a great decision so far.

    While the midfielder instantly became the best player to represent the Fauves when he made his debut, the powerhouse has been unable to help them to a major tournament.

  • Percy Tau, Bafana Bafana vs Sudan, November 2019Backpagepix

    Percy Tau

    Out of sorts for Bafana as they were defeated by Sudan, and out of favour at Brighton & Hove Albion, Tau will nonetheless be a big absentee from the Nations Cup.

    He was part of the South Africa side that reached the quarter-finals in 2019, but—now 26—will have to sit out the next tournament.

  • Cedric Bakambu DR Congo

    Cedric Bakambu

    Africa’s best paid player when he moved to Chinese football, Bakambu caught the eye at the last Nations Cup—particularly in that evisceration of Uganda—and it’s a great failure that he and his teammates will miss the 2022 tournament.

    Bakambu, now 29, would have been in his prime in neighbouring Cameroon, and others such as Yoane Wissa, Gael Kakuta, Walter Bwalya, Jackson Muleka and Ben Malango will be other high-profile absentees.

  • Mbwana Samatta of Tanzania vs Libya.TFF.

    Mbwana Samatta

    One of East Africa’s leading players, Samatta is another big name to miss out as part of the region’s collective failure in the Afcon qualifying campaign.

    The 28-year-old only has four goals in 23 outings for Fenerbahce this term, so he isn’t in top form, and only contributed one goal in Tanzania’s failed qualification attempt.

  • Patson DakaGetty

    Patson Daka

    Daka ended the qualifying campaign with five goals—tied with Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen as Africa’s top scorer of the campaign.

    However, unlike Osimhen, who will be leading the line for Nigeria at the Nations Cup, Daka will be absent.

    It’s shocking that Zambia, so eye-catching during the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign, have so wholly failed to build on that success, missing out on the Afcon in both 2019 and 2022.