Experienced defender Kara Mbodj has surprisingly been excluded in Senegal’s final 23-man squad for the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.
Coach Aliou Cissé, head coach of the side announcing his squad in Dakar said; “Kara is an important part of this national team. But Kara’s struggles date back to a year ago after a serious knee injury”.
The towering center back has five goals in 47 appearances for Senegal including the winner against South Africa in November 2017 to seal qualification to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The 29-year-old was however not selected for last summer’s World Cup in Russia and has since not returned into the team.
The former Diambar trainee returned to Belgian club Anderlecht in January after an unsuccessful loan spell at French side Nantes due consistent injuries.
Coach Cisse who would be guiding Senegal for the second time in the tournament maintained 16 players from his World Cup squad as they aim for their first continental title.
Horoya goalkeeper Khadim Ndiaye is out after sustaining a serious leg fracture in the CAF Champions league this year, while striker Moussa Sow retired after the World Cup.
The other notable absentees include former West Ham forward Diafra Sakho, Mame Biram Diouf, Cheikh Ndoye and Adama Mbegue.
Former Newcastle attacking midfielder Henri Saivet has been recalled following his fine season with Bursaspor.
The 2002 runners up would be looking at Galatasaray forward Mbaye Diagne to replicate his club form when the tournament kicks off in Egypt.
The 27-year-old scored a combined total of 30 league goals in the 2018/19 season for Kasimpasa and Galatasaray.
Liverpool forward Sadio Mane is one of three premier league players in the team alongside Everton’s Idrissa Gana Gueye and Cheikhou Kouyate of Crystal Palace.
Goalkeepers: Abdoulaye Diallo (Rennes, France), Alfred Gomis (Spal, Italy), Edouard Mendy (Reims, France).
Defenders: Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli, Italy), Moussa Wague (FC Barcelona, Spain), Pape Abdou Cisse (Olympiacos, Greece), Salif Sane (Schalke,Germany), Youssouf Sabaly (Bordeaux,France), Lamine Gassama (Goztepe, Turkey), Saliou Ciss (Valenciennes, France), Cheikhou Kouyate (Crystal Palace, England).
Midfielders: Alfred Ndiaye (Malaga, Spain), Santy Ngom (Nancy, France), Idrissa Gana Gueye (Everton, England), Keprin Diatta (Club Brugge, Belgium), Pape Alioune Ndiaye (Galatasaray, Turkey), Sidy Sarr (Lorient, France), Henri Saivet (Bursaspor, Turkey).
Forwards: Ismaila Sarr (Rennes, France), Keita Balde (Inter Milan, Italy), Mbye Niang (Rennes, France), Moussa Konate (Amiens, France), Mbaye Diagne (Galatasaray, Turkey), Sada Thioub (Nimes, France), Sadio Mane (Liverpool, England).