Midfielder Franck Kanoute and Moustapha Name will experience their first match in the Senegalese national football team during their two-leg match against Guinea-Bissau in November, as part of the AfCON 2022 qualifiers.After a difficult reunion in October with his protégés, Senegal Coach Aliou Cisse decided to get off on the right foot. The technician has stirred up the list made public on Tuesday. Apart from the returns of some top players, two newcomers will try to secure the midfield.
The Lions failed in this sector on October 9 in Rabat, in a friendly against the Atlas Lions of Morocco (3-1). They could not rectify the situation four days later in Thies, against the Mourabitounes of Mauritania, as cases of Covid-19 had just been discovered in the visiting delegation, forcing the two parties to cancel the friendly match at the last minute.
Elimane Franck Kanoute, 21, born in Senegal, played first played in Italy and is currently playing at Cercle Bruges, Belgium. He was transferred this summer to Belgium’s elite football club where he holds the center-back post. As for Moustapha Name, 25, he is a defensive midfielder, a former member of the Senegalese Ligue 1. Since last July, he has been playing for Paris FC, a French Ligue 2 team, where he signed after a successful season at Pau FC, France.
Meanwhile, Servette’s neo-defender (Swiss D1) Arial Mendy, 25, is making a comeback after a first stint in 2016, during which he did not play. But this experience was very helpful to this adaptable player, who was trained in Diambars Institute and made fleeting passages in Orleans and Lens (France).
Several senior players who missed last October gathering, either due to injury, Covid-19 contamination, or poor shape, are also returning to their places on the list. This is the case for goalkeepers Edouard Mendy and Alfred Gomis, as well as the young Strasbourg player Bingourou Kamara who kept the Lions’ cage against Morocco..
Moussa Wagué and Kalidou Koulibaly also sign their return. In the middle, it is Pape Alioune Ndiaye who returns where Sadio Mané and Keita Baldé Diao will be present in attack.
In addition, Racine Coly, Lamine Gassama (side), Sidy Sarr, Joseph Lopy (midfielders), Mame Baba Thiam and Sada Thioub (attackers), present during the previous meeting, are not recalled.
Senegal’s Teranga Lions are leaders in qualifying group I for AfCON 2022 with six points, after victories in November 2019 against Congo (2-0) and Eswatini (4-1). The Djurtus of Guinea-Bissau are for their part third in the group with three points. They also beat Eswatini 3-0 before falling to the same score against Congo’s Red Devils.
The next African Cup of Nations, scheduled for 2022 in Cameroon, was originally scheduled to be held in January 2021. It has been postponed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following is the list of called Lions:
Goalkeepers: Edouard Mendy (Chelsea, England), Alfred Gomis (Rennes, France), Bingourou Kamara (RC Strasbourg, France).
Defenders: Youssouf Sabaly (Bordeaux, France), Saliou Ciss (Nancy, France), Moussa Wague (PAOK Salonika, Greece), Kalidou Koulibaly (Naples, Italy), Ousseynou Ba and Pape Abou Cisse (Olympiakos, Greece), Arial Benabent Mendy (Servette FC, Switzerland), Salif Sane (Schalke 04, Germany).
Midfielders: Krepin Diatta (Bruges, Belgium), Pape Cheikh Diop (Dijon, France), Idrissa Gana Gueye (PSG, France), Cheikhou Kouyate (Crystal Palace, England), Moustapha Name (Paris FC, France), Franck Kanoute (Cercle Bruges KSV, Belgium), Papa Alioune Ndiaye (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey).
Forwards: Sadio Mane (Liverpool, England), Keita Balde Diao (Sampdoria Genoa, Italy), Opa Nguette (Metz, France), Ismaila Sarr (Watford, England), Famara Diedhiou (Bristol, England), Boulaye Dia (Reims, France) and Habib Diallo (Metz, France).