In more recent years Aston Villa haven’t really been troubled by the African Cup of Nations tournament, but with interruption breaks already causing consternation at B6 this year as we try and bed in our new team after a troubled pre-season campaign, we will have a few headaches come January with a couple of other players popping off if they are selected.
It’s expected that around 40 players from Premier League clubs will head out after the round of Boxing Day fixtures, with some potentially remaining out of contention until the second week of February, but as with all international games, clubs themselves have no say in whether or not a player attends, so for those players who reach the later stages of the tournament it could see them missing significant matches.
Naturally, some clubs are hit harder than others and on that front Villa get off quite lightly really as we would only potentially lose Marvelous Nakamba and Bertrand Traore. Trezeguet would be another were it not for his injury.
With other sides more significantly weakened, you’d have to hope that if we can find improvements and get some consistency, we can take a small advantage in the New Year and give ourselves a much stronger finish to the 2021/22 campaign, but given who we play it’s much of a muchness really given who they could be missing. The fixtures could’ve fallen more kindly when it comes to key players possibly being off on their travels.
Julian Jeanvier (Guinea)
Frank Onyeka (Nigeria)
Tariqe Fosu-Henry (Ghana)
Eric Bailly (Ivory Coast)
Amad Diallo (Ivory Coast)
Jean-Philippe Gbamin (Ivory Coast)
Alex Iwobi (Nigeria)