Ghana duo Christian Atsu and Thomas Teye Partey have been shortlisted for the 2017 African Player of the Year gong.
The two men are among a list of 30 candidates announced by continental football governing body Caf on Wednesday.
Reigning winner Riyad Mahrez of Algeria and Leicester City, 2015 victor Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon and Borussia Dortmund as well as Egypt and Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah headline the roster.
With the Awards Gala set for Accra, Ghana on January 4 next year, the eventual winner will be decided by votes from members of the Caf Technical and Development Committee and a panel of Media Experts as well as the head coaches or technical directors of the national associations affiliated to Caf.
Newcastle United winger Atsu was influential as Ghana reached the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals in February. His fine performance earned him a place in Caf’s Team of the Tournament.
At club level, the 25-year-old played a crucial role to earn Newcastle promotion back into the English Premier League in May. He has equally been lively in the topflight, having played in all 10 matches – starting nine and scoring once – thus far this campaign.
Atletico Madrid midfielder Partey has similarly been rewarded for his exploits at the Afcon. His standout game being the opening day clash with Uganda where he was adjudged Man of the Match.
In September, the 24-year-old was also named Best Player of the fourth round of Africa’s 2018 World Cup qualifying after hitting a hat-trick against Congo.
Arguably, 2017 has been Partey’s best year at club level.
The Odumase-Krobo-born has played all but one of his club’s 10 league games this term, starting seven and scoring once.
He also has one goal in four Champions League appearances as well as one goal in the Spanish Cup.