The Confederation of African Football has announced the top three shortlists for the 2017 African Player of the Year with Alex Iwobi not making the cut.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane made the final – a repeat of last year – and the trio will be hoping to be crowned as Africa’s best on January 8 in Dakar, Senegal.
Aubameyang who was named as Africa’s best in 2015 equals Yaya Toure and Michael Essien’s record for being among the finalists five times in a row.
The 29-year-old Arsenal forward who is joint leading scorer in the English Premier League would be aiming the crown for the second time.
Since El Hadji Diouf triumph in 2001 and 2002, no Senegalese has won the individual honour and Mane looks set to break the jinx following his third consecutive nomination among the best three.
Salah, who was also nominated for UEFA Player of the Year and The Best awards, is seen as a strong possibility to retain the crown.
Following Iwobi’s failure to make the cut, the crown remains beyond the reach of Nigerian player since Nwankwo Kanu’s feat in 1999.