Watch out for these 5 youngsters in AFCON 2023 tournament

Watch out for these 5 youngsters in AFCON 2023 tournament
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The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023, is set to dazzle the world of football in its 34th edition as African superstars converge in the Ivory Coast for the much anticipated biennial football extravaganza.

Previous AFCON editions has seen many coaches include young talents in their squad, and AFCON 2023 is no exception to this as quite a number of young players have been given the opportunity to showcase their potential in the grandest stage of African football.

With the event getting ready to kick-off this weekend in the Ivory Coast, brings you a list of 5 youngsters to watch out for during the most prestigious football showpiece in Africa.

5 youngsters to watch out for in AFCON 2023

Yusuf Alhassan (Nigeria)

Yusuf Alhassan in action for Antwerp
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Yusuf Alhassan, aged 23, was named as replacement for the injured Wilfred Ndidi in Nigeria's Super Eagles squad.

Previously uncapped, Alhassan's key role in Royal Antwerp’s league title triumph last season and his continual involvement for his club this season earned him a place in the Eagles midfield set-up.

With Champions League experience under his belt, this exciting Nigerian talent brings some level of skill and creativity to the Nigerian side.

Nigerians look forward to an amazing shift in the middle of the pack when he's called upon by coach Peseiro in Ivory Coast.

Ernest Nuamah (Ghana)

Ernest Nuamah in action for Lyon
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Ernest Nuamah has made 14 appearances this season for Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyonnais even as their fight to remain in the French top-flight is beginning to yield results.

Acquired for €25 million from Nordsjaelland by Molenbeek before being sent on loan to Lyon, the 20-year-old winger has made an immediate impact after scoring and assisting goals this season.

He earned his first cap for the Black Stars in June 2023, and his dynamic play is expected to add more flair to the already formidable attacking

Mohammed Kudus (Ghana)

Mohammed Kudus in action for West Ham
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Called the Golden Boy of Ghanaian football at the moment, 23-year-old forward Mohammed Kudus plays for West Ham in the Premier League.

As the top scorer in the Nations Cup qualifiers for the Black Stars and a standout performer in the 2022 World Cup finals, Kudus carries the hopes of a nation on his shoulders.

He's aiming to erase the memories of Ghana’s 2021 group-stage exit and his mission is clear, to push Ghana back to the apex of African football.

Wilfried Nathan Douala (Cameroon)

Wilfried Douala
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Wilfried Nathan Douala is one of the youngest players invited to make his AFCON debut.

Born on 15 May 2006 in Douala, Douala plays as a midfielder for Victoria United in the Cameroonian top-flight division.

The 17-year-old impressed the coaching staff with his immense technical ability and commendable performances in the league to earn a surprise inclusion in Rigobert Song's AFCON 2023 squad.

Pape Matar Sarr (Senegal)

Pape Matar Sarr in action for Tottenham
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Senegalese midfielder Pape Matar Sarr is one of the young prospects of world football.

The 21-year-old has been a revelation for Tottenham Hotspur this season in his role as a defensive midfielder.

Despite a recent hamstring scare in a Premier League game against Bournemouth on 31 December 2023 where he scored, Sarr has passed a fitness test and will compete for Senegal in AFCON 2023.

And having extended his contract until 2030 with Spurs, his journey and growth from club football to international prominence is one to watch out for.

As Sarr makes the trip to Ivory Coast with his Senegal teammates, expectations are high for this talented youngster to shine on the grandest stage of African football.

This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago

Joseph is a graduate engineer turned sports writer, he has covered lots of sports stories, match previews and predictions across various leagues on the planet.