AFCON 2023: Iwobi, Kudus and the Top Midfielders to Keep an Eye on in Ivory Coast

AFCON 2023: Iwobi, Kudus and the Top Midfielders to Keep an Eye on in Ivory Coast

Ero Samson
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
Alex Iwobi logo
A. Iwobi
Fulham logoFNigeria logo
Sofyan Amrabat logo
S. Amrabat
Manchester United logoMMorocco logo
André Zambo Anguissa logo
Napoli logoMCameroon logo
Kamory Doumbia logo
K. Doumbia
Stade Brestois 29 logoMMali logo
Mohammed Kudus logo
West Ham United logoMGhana logo
Nigeria logo
Super Eagles logo
Super Eagles
South Africa
Mali logo
Ghana logo
Morocco logo
Cameroon logo
Victor Osimhen logo
V. Osimhen
Napoli logoFNigeria logo
  • The countdown to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations continues
  • A host of stars are poised to herald the stages in Ivory Coast
  • Sports Brief highlights five midfielders to watch at the Mundial

The excitement in anticipation of the 34th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) continues to build among fans and stakeholders alike as a host of the continent’s elite footballing stars are poised to fly the flags of their respective countries in Ivory Coast.

The 2023 edition is set to highlight an array of midfield talents, each bringing their distinct skills and abilities to contribute to their country's success in the competition.

Alex Iwobi, CAF, AFCON, Nigeria, Ghana
Mohammed Kudus and Alex Iwobi are amongst the flurry of midfield stars set to dominate the scenes in Ivory Coast. Image: Matthew Ashton.
Source: Getty Images

As the countdown to the referee’s whistle signalling the start of the AFCON continues, Sports Brief takes a look at five midfielders who could leave a mark on the tournament in Ivory Coast.

Kamory Doumbia — Mali, Brest

The 20-year-old Brest midfield star is one talent to keep an eye on through the competition. Since completing his loan transfer to the Ligue 1 outfit, the Mali midfielder has been involved in seven goals in games goals for Eric Roy’s side.

His versatility is also an added advantage for him, as he can feature across every position irrespective of the style of play. Doubia’s goalscoring prowess is undoubted, as he found the back of the net four times in the space of 66 minutes in Brest’s final league game of 2023. Eric Challe and Mali indeed have a gem of a midfield star on their hands.

Mohammed Kudus — Ghana, West Ham United

One of the poster boys of the Ghanaian national team, Mohammed Kudus, could not have wished for a better start to his career at Premier League club, West Ham.

The 23-year-old former Ajax star has been involved in 16 goals in 28 appearances since the start of the season, according to data courtesy of Fotmob.

Kudus’ impeccable form has seen him develop into one of the marquee players available to head coach Chris Hughton. The midfielder, who is expected to be among one of the breakout stars of the tournament, will hope he can guide the Black Stars to AFCON success.

Alex Iwobi — Fulham, Nigeria

The Super Eagles midfield star has yet to reach the lofty height attained by his uncle and African football legend, Jay-Jay Okocha.

The midfielder, who is participating in his third AFCON, hopes his stellar start to life under Marco Silva in Fulham will translate into a huge success for him and the Nigerian national team.

With over 66 caps for the National team, the 27-year-old comes into the tournament as one of the older heads of Jose Peseiro’s team.

Sofyan Amrabat — Morocco, Manchester United

The 27-year-old combative midfielder burst onto the scenes with Hella Verona. However, his stock grew astronomically following a stellar World Cup outing, which saw Walid Regaragui’s side make history as the first African team to reach a FIFA World Cup Semi-Final.

Amrabat will again hope he can put behind him his recent poor form and help his team break the hovering 47-year curse of not winning an AFCON crown.

Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa — Cameroon, Napoli

Our list will only be complete with the mention of another combative, however, attack-minded central midfielder, Zambo Anguissa.

The Cameroon superstar has been nothing short of a revelation since his transfer to Italian giants Napoli in 2021.

With over 45 international caps to his name, the veteran midfielder will again be monstrous for Rigobert Song’s plan to win the AFCON.

It is believed the midfielder will be tasked with the responsibility of supplying the final passes to forward Vincent Aboubakar.

Most valuable AFCON squad

Sports Brief in a previous report highlighted that Nigeria’s Super Eagles has the most valuable squad at the 2023 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, owing largely to Victor Osimhen’s massive market value of €110 million, which is more than 14 other countries.

The three-time champions have a squad valued at €465.9mil, over a hundred million more than the Atlas Lions of Morocco, who are in second place and valued at €350.8mil.

Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).