By Victor Kanayo
Galatasaray winger Wilfried Zaha has not been called up by Coach Jean-Louis Gasset in Cote d’ivoire’s 27-man African Cup of Nations squad.
The 31-year-old, who moved to Turkey from Crystal Palace in the close of last season, has only played in two friendlies for Ivory Coast this year, missing their Cup of Nations qualifiers and last month’s first round of World Cup qualifying.
English-based players who were included in the squad are Nottingham Forest trio of Willy Boly, Ibrahim Sangare, and Serge Aurier, as well as Brighton and Hove Albion striker Simon Adingra and Hull City’s Jean Michael Seri.
Also included in the Cote d’ivoire team is former Arsenal forward Nicolas Pepe.
Ivory Coast squad includes three goalkeepers, eight defenders, six midfielders, and 10 attackers. Manager Patrice Gasset will lead his team in a friendly against Sierra Leone on January 6 at the Laurent Pokou Stadium in San Pedro as part of their preparations for the tournament.
The Ivory Coast will begin their AFCON campaign against Guinea-Bissau on January 13, followed by matches against Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea in Group A.
With a talented pool of players to choose from, Gasset will be hoping that his Elephants can put on impressive displays on home soil and make a strong bid for the trophy.