Ivory Coast include Palace's Zaha for Nations Cup

5 months ago 3304
Wilfried Zaha in action for Ivory CoastWilfried Zaha has played for Ivory Coast at two editions of the Africa Cup of Nations

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha has been included in the Ivory Coast squad for the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon.

However, Palace manager Patrick Vieira insisted that Zaha wanted to continue to play for the Elephants.

While Manchester United defender Eric Bailly is also in the 28-man squad, there is no place for his young club-mate Amad Diallo.

Diallo, 19, has played just once this season for United - in their 1-1 draw with Young Boys of Switzerland in a Champions League group stage match on 8 December.

Ivory Coast coach Patrice Beaumelle said in August that he hoped that Diallo would be able to go on loan in order to get more playing time.

Beaumelle will be hoping that Sebastian Haller's fine form in front of goal can continue, with the Ajax striker having had a record-breaking season in the Champions League so far.

Former France youth international Maxwel Cornet could be another key player for Beaumelle after impressing for Premier League club Burnley so far this season. Wolves defender Willy Boly and Arsenal forward Nicolas Pepe are also included.

Four Italy-based players are on the list with AC Milan's Franck Kessie and Lazio's Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro joined Sassuolo pair Hamed Traore and Jeremie Boga.

Ivory Coast, who won the second of their two Nations Cup titles in 2015, begin their Group E campaign in Cameroon against Equatorial Guinea on 12 January before playing Sierra Leone and then defending champions Algeria.

Ivory Coast squad for Afcon 2021

Goalkeepers: Sylvain Gbohouo (Wolkite Ketema, Ethiopia), Badra Ali Sangare (JDR Stars, South Africa), Abdoul Karim Cisse (Asec Mimosas, Ivory Coast), Ira Eliezer Tape (San Pedro, Ivory Coast).

Defenders: Serge Aurier (Villarreal, Spain), Eric Bailly (Manchester United, England), Willy Boly (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England), Wilfried Kanon (Pyramids, Egypt), Odilon Kossounou (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany), Simon Deli (Adana Demirspor, Turkey), Ghislain Konan (Reims, France).

Midfielders: Habib Maiga (Metz, France), Maxwel Cornet (Burnley, England), Serey Die (Sion, Switzerland), Ibrahim Sangare (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands), Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro (Lazio, Italy), Franck Kessie (AC Milan, Italy), Hamed Traore and Jeremie Boga (both Sassuolo, Italy), Max Gradel (Sivasspor, Turkey), Jean Michael Seri (Fulham, England).

Forwards: Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace, England), Jean Evrard Kouassi (Trabzonspor, Turkey), Nicolas Pepe (Arsenal, England), Sebastien Haller (Ajax, Netherlands), Christian Kouame (Anderlecht, Belgium), Yohan Boli (Al-Rayyan, Qatar), Karim Konate (Asec Mimosas, Ivory Coast).

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