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AFCON Qualifiers: Gasset names his Cote d’Ivoire squad

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Cote d’Ivoire new head coach Jean-Louis Gasset has named exciting youngster Karim Konate in his first squad since taking charge of the Elephants for next month’s TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations qualifications.

The Frenchman recalled Wilfried Kanon, Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro, Jeremie Boga and Christian Kouame for the matches against Zambia and Lesotho in his 25-man squad.

The four players were not available during March’s friendly matches but have been given the chance to impress the new coach who took over the side earlier this month.

Several players, who played in the friendlies, were not invited for the qualifiers with Emmanuel Agbadou, Ismaël Diallo, Wilfried Singo, Hamed Traore Junior and Fousseny Coulibaly excluded for various reasons.

Other key players not included in the squad are Gervinho who is still recovering from injury, goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo remains suspended while the recent winner of the Marc Vivien Foe award in France Seko Fofana of Lens is out of the team.

But the country’s best players were named in the 25-man squad to face Zambia on Friday June 3, 2022 in Yamoussoukro before they travel to Johannesburg six days later to play Lesotho.

ASEC Mimosas teenager Karim Konate who is having an amazing season in the Ivorian Ligue 1 and also in the CAF Confederation Cup has been included in the squad for the two matches.

New Italian champion with AC Milan, Franck Yannick Kessie is featuring prominently in the squad alongside other stars like Manchester United defender Eric Bertrand Bailly and Arsenal player Nicolas Pepe.

Dutch Eredivisie topscorer with 21 goals for Ajax Amsterdam in the just ended season, Sebastien Haller, will lead the attack for Gasset’s new Elephants team.

The Frenchman who was appointed to replace Patrice Beaumelle about a week ago has been tasked to lead Cote d’Ivoire to win the title as they host the tournament next year.

The Elephants are participating in the qualifiers despite being guaranteed a spot in the finals as the host country with the intent of keeping the side active during the international break.

Full Squad

Goalkeepers
Sylvain Gbohouo (Wolkite Ketema) Badra Ali Sangare (JDR Stars) Abdoul Karim Cisse (Asec Mimosas) Ira Eliezer Tape (San Pedro)

Defenders
Serge Aurier (Villarreal) Eric Bailly (Man Utd) Willy Boly (Wolves) Wilfried Kanon (Pyramids) Odilon Kossounou (Bayer Leverkusen) Simon Deli (Adana Demirspor) Ghislain Konan (Reims)

Midfielders
Habib Maiga (Metz) Maxwel Cornet (Burnley) Serey Die (Sion) Ibrahim Sangare (PSV Eindhoven) Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro (Lazio) Franck Kessie (AC Milan) Hamed Traore (Sassuolo) Jeremie Boga (Sassuolo) Max Gradel (Sivasspor) Jean Michael Seri (Fulham)

Forwards
Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) Jean Evrard Kouassi (Trabzonspor) Nicolas Pepe (Arsenal) Sebastien Haller (Ajax) Christian Kouame (Anderlecht) Yohan Boli (Al-Rayyan) Karim Konate (Asec Mimosas)

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