The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has released its shortlist for the African Player of the Year award, and conspicuous by his absence is Everton’s Swiss Army knife Idrissa Gueye. This is the second straight year that Gana has missed out on a nomination, though last year Yannick Bolasie was on the list representing the Blues.
Also missing out is 2016 winner Riyad Mahrez who had a mostly anonymous season with Leicester City last year. All but seven of the players nominated play in Europe, and even a 44 year old made the list, with Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El Hadary on it. Former Evertonian Christian Atsu, now with Newcastle, is also on the list.
Gueye was a cornerstone of Everton’s seventh-placed finish in the Premier League last season, featuring in 35 total games for the Blues with one goal and two assists, and led the league in total tackles as well. He also played in every game Senegal played that season, including the Africa Cup 2017 and the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
The winner will be announced in a ceremony in Ghana on January 4th, 2018. Winners are determined from votes by head coaches and technical directors from CAF’s 56 national teams, along with members of CAF's Technical and Development Committee and a panel of media personalities.
African Player of the Year:
Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon & Porto), Karim El Ahmadi (Morocco & Feyenoord), Christian Atsu (Ghana & Newcastle), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Borussia Dortmund), Eric Bailly (Cote d'Ivoire & Manchester United), Cedric Bakambu (DR Congo & Villareal), Keita Balde (Senegal & Monaco), Christian Bassogog (Cameroon & Henan Jianye), Yves Bissouma (Mali & Lille), Khalid Boutaib (Morocco & Yeni Malatyaspor), Yacine Brahimi (Algeria & Porto), Essam El Hadary (Egypt & Al Taawoun), Junior Kabananga (DR Congo & Astana), Fackson Kapumbu (Zambia & Zesco), Naby Keita (Guinea & RB Leipzig), Ali Maaloul (Tunisia & Al Ahly), Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool), Moussa Marega (Mali & Porto), Victor Moses (Nigeria & Chelsea), Youssef Msakni (Tunisia & Al Duhail), Michael Olunga (Kenya & Girona), Fabrice Ondoa (Cameroon & Sevilla), Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns), Thomas Partey (Ghana & Atletico Madrid), Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Liverpool), Mbwana Samata (Tanzania & Genk), Jean Michel Seri (Cote d'Ivoire & Nice), Percy Tau (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns), Bertrand Traore (Burkina Faso & Lyon), William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria & Bursaspor).