AFCON 2022: Five stars who could follow Mendy and move to London Premier League clubs

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LondonWorld football reporter Rahman Osman picks five players from Cameroon who could be heading to the capital soon.

Sadio Mane’s penalty had barely hit the back of the net, and already Premier League clubs will be studying which AFCON stars to buy.

Players such as Senegal’s Abdou Diallo could be the perfect replacement for departing defenders at Chelsea, while both West Ham and Spurs have already been linked with a Cameroon ace.

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Scouts all over the world have been keeping tabs on the tournament in Cameroon, with Senegal ultimately deservedly winning their first AFCON trophy.

Every club is looking to find the next Edouard Mendy, Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane.

But if Senegal have managed to come on top as the winners of the 33rd edition, then there are players who leave the tournament with enhanced reputations.

Football Writer Rahman Osman, who covered the tournament in Cameroon, picks out his stand-out players who could be starring in the capital after blistering tournaments.

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 KARL TOKO EKAMBI of Cameroon during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021  (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images) KARL TOKO EKAMBI of Cameroon during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021  (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
KARL TOKO EKAMBI of Cameroon during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images) | Visionhaus/Getty Images

Karl Toko Ekambi

The Cameroon forward has proved that his club form was no fluke, and grabbed five goals as he powered the Indomitable Lions to a third place finish.

Ekambi came into the tournament with five goals from 17 games in Ligue 1, and the Cameroon star is also the leading scorer in this season’s UEFA Europa League so far with six goals.

And he carried his form into the AFCON in Cameroon.

West Ham United and Spurs have been linked with him in the past, and given his blistering tournament we might not have to wait too long to see him in the Premier League.

COLLINS FAI of Cameroon during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 round of 16  (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)COLLINS FAI of Cameroon during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 round of 16  (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
COLLINS FAI of Cameroon during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 round of 16 (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images) | Visionhaus/Getty Images

Collins Fai

Collins Fai has had the tournament of his career, and it won’t be long before he grabs the headlines in major leagues across the world.

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Blessed with endless energy, power and a willing runner on and off the ball, not many wingers in the world would like to come up against the Cameroonian right back.

He gave the Indomitable Lions an additional attacking outlet throughout the tournament, and proved that modern day full backs can attack and defend in equal measure.

The former Standard Liege right back might have just signed a life changing deal with cash rich Saudi Arabia side Al Tai, but his form suggests he will not be in the Gulf for a long time.

He almost joined Swansea City as a youngster in their Premier League days, but given the tournament he’s had in Cameroon expect to see his name mentioned more often when full backs are being discussed.

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If Cesar Azpilicueta leaves Stamford Bridge, Chelsea will be looking for cover for Reece James at right back.

Hervé Koffi of Charleroi during the Jupiler Pro League match between OH Leuven and Sporting . (Photo by Plumb Images/Getty Images)Hervé Koffi of Charleroi during the Jupiler Pro League match between OH Leuven and Sporting . (Photo by Plumb Images/Getty Images)
Hervé Koffi of Charleroi during the Jupiler Pro League match between OH Leuven and Sporting . (Photo by Plumb Images/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Hervé Koffi

Koffi has been quietly making a name for himself in the Belgian Pro League this season, and has sealed a brilliant AFCON to establish his growing reputation as a goalkeeper.

He came into the AFCON having made the most saves in the Belgian Pro League with his club Charleroi.

Given how he has become the most famous goalkeeper in Cameroon due to his outstanding performances for Burkina Faso, his club might struggle to hold on to him in the summer.

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African goalkeepers have been empowered by the performances and excellence of Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy, and it would be interesting to hear which English clubs have turned their attention to him.

Tall, commanding and calm, Koffi has what it takes to go all the way in his career.

OMAR MARMOUSH of Egypt during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021  (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)OMAR MARMOUSH of Egypt during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021  (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
OMAR MARMOUSH of Egypt during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images) | Visionhaus/Getty Images

Omar Marmoush

The Egyptian winger has been a breath of fresh air throughout the tournament.

A modern-day winger who is technically sound and attacks and defends well.

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The 22-year-old is a man with a growing reputation in the German Bundesliga and has done his career a world of good with his performances in Cameroon.

His form throughout the tournament has meant Aston Villa’s Trézéguet has had to settle for a super sub role.

At Stuttgart he is referred to as the new Mo Salah, and it’s just a matter of time before you see his name attached to a Premier League team.

 ABDOU DIALLO of Senegal during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 quarter-final . (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images) ABDOU DIALLO of Senegal during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 quarter-final . (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
ABDOU DIALLO of Senegal during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 quarter-final . (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images) | Visionhaus/Getty Images

Abdou Diallo

The PSG man has been the unsung hero of Senegal’s success, and has formed an enviable partnership with Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly.

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Diallo was exceptional in the final in keeping Mo Salah quiet, and even scored a goal in the shoot out.

Highly rated by Pochettino and his backroom staff, Diallo has proved that under the right guidance he could go on and have a great career.

He had been linked to Villa and Palace, but decided to stay and fight for his position at PSG however that resolve will be tested if he goes back and continues to warm the bench in Paris.

He could also fit in at Chelsea, with several defenders potentially departing the Bridge over the summer.

The 25-year-old has a great passing range and is a rare breed of a left-footed central defender who is strong and reads the game well.

Has been great throughout the tournament.

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