Young Players to Watch at African Football Cup of Nations 2023

Young Players to watch at African Football Cup of Nations 2023

The African Football Cup of Nations 2023 kicked off in the host country’s economic capital, Abidjan, on January 13th. The hosts, Ivory Coast, completed a 2-0 Group A victory over Guinea-Bissau. Every football fan is currently cheering on their favorite players at the Africa Cup of Nations

The future of African football is looking great thanks to a young star making waves who wants to use the tournament to step up their career.

In no particular order, Yinksmedia let us take a look at the top 5 young players to watch at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations and their performances.

Lamine Camara (Senegal): Away from the spotlight on Sadio Mane, Lamina Camara is a young player who could light up the Africa Cup of Nations tournament taking place in Ivory Coast. At just 20 years old, Lamine Camara plays a pivotal role for French side Metz this season, contributing 17 appearances, one goal, and two assists. Scoring for Senegal on November 18, 2023, against South Sudan in the World Cup 2026 qualifiers, Camara quickly gained the trust of coach Aliou Cisse. He might just be the creative spark to split the defense and create chances for the reigning champions, Senegal, as they hope to retain the title.

The box-to-box midfielder has these amazing awards to his name:

  • CHAN 2022 champion
  • CHAN 2022: best young player
  • AFCON U20 2023 champion
  • AFCON U20 2023: best player
  • 2023 CAF young player of the year

Yankuba Minteh (Gambia): Born on July 22, 2004, he plays as a right-winger (RW) for Feyenoord and made the surprise inclusion in Tom Saintfiet’s list for the CAF TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations 2023.

On loan at Feyenoord from Newcastle, the 19-year-old winger has scored five goals in six starts and played 40% of his team’s minutes. Yankuba is expected to start as Gambia takes on Senegal in their opening group game at the Africa Cup of Nations 2023. He is the most exciting player in the Gambia team to watch out for

Karim Konaté (Ivory Coast): In 2022, Konate made a mark as the second youngest player at AFCON 2021 in Cameroon, and in June 2022, his transfer from ASEC Mimosas to RB Salzburg made headlines.

Discovered as a street footballer, he rose through the ranks of ASEC Mimosas’ renowned academy, Mimosifcon, often referred to as the La Masia of Africa. Karim Konate is another mega talent to come out of Africa and is undeniably a rising star on the football horizon. Following an incredible season with the Ivorian club, the 19-year-old forward attracted interest from top clubs worldwide.

Known for his pace, finishing dribbling, heading, box movement, and transitional threat, the Salzburg man born on March 21, 2004, Konaté continues to impress and will be one of the attractions for Ivorian fans during this home-hosted CAN.

Ernest Nuamah (Ghana): With 14 appearances this season in French Ligue 1 for Olympique Lyonnais, 20-year-old Ernest Nuamah plays a crucial role in the team’s setup. He is a multi-faceted winger who can play inside or wide and has an impressive output as a dribber and creator, both passing and crossing.

Young Players to watch at African Football Cup of Nations 2023

Acquired for €25 million from Nordsjaelland by Molenbeek before being sent to Lyon, the young winger was crowned the best young player and the overall player of the season for 20223/2023 in Denmark when he was playing for FC Nordsjaelland before joining Lyon in July 2023.

The youngster has made an immediate impact, scoring a goal and providing an assist in the league. He earned his first cap for the Black Stars in June 2023, and his dynamic play with a fantastic left foot is expected to add more flair to the already formidable attacking lineup.

Michael Amir Richardson Junior (Morocco, 21 years old): Amir Richardson is the son of Michael Ray Richardson, a four-time all-star who played nine seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). On September 12, 2023, Amir made his debut for the Moroccan national team.

The youngster playing for the North Africa side joined Stade de Reims this season from Le Havre, and he has had an almost perfect start to the season personally. Amir is a 6’5″ center midfielder who made his professional debut for Le Havre AC on May 15, 2021.

He currently plays for Reims’, and with his impressive statistics, he boasts three goals in 14 matches. Amirs’ current performance and immense potential earned him a spot among Walid Regragui’s 27-man squad, making him one of the surprises of the squad.

Many other players will use this tournament to showcase their talent and continue to grow as players in each of the matches to be played in one of the stadiums in Ivory Coast during the African Football Cup of Nations 2023.