A cluster of Premier League stars including Eric Bailly and Wilfried Zaha was named yesterday in defending champions the Cote d’Ivoire’s 24-player squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.
Crystal Palace winger Zaha features in the list released by the team’s French manager Michel Dussuyer despite playing two games for England.
But as those caps were both in friendlies the 24-year-old remains eligible to line up for the country of his birth.
He made it plain to the Ivorien Football Federation in November that he wanted to play for the Elephants rather than the Three Lions of Gareth Southgate.
Missing from the squad for the tournament in Gabon starting on January 14 was the Elephant’s injured Chinese-based captain Gervinho.
Paris Saint-Germain defender Serge Aurier and Stoke City forward Wilfried Bony also figured.
Elephants warm up for the defence of their 2015 title with friendlies against Sweden and Uganda.
At the Nations Cup, Cote d’Ivoire and Togo are meet on January 16 in the opening Group C match followed by Democratic Republic of Congo and Morocoo.
Goalkeepers: Sylvain Gbohouo (Mazembe/DRC), Mande Sayouba (Stabaek/NOR), Ali Badra Sangaré (Tanda/CIV)
Defenders: Eric Bailly (Manchester United/ENG), Serge Aurier (PSG/FRA), Simon Deli (Slavia Prague/CZE), Ousmane Viera Diarrassouba (Adanaspor/TUR), Wilfried Kanon (The Hague/NED), Lamine Koné (Sunderland/ENG), Adama Traoré (Basle/SUI), Bagayoko Mamadou (Saint Truiden/BEL)
Midfielders: Geoffrey Serey Dié (Basle/SUI), Victorien Angban(Grenada/ESP), Cheick Doukouré (Metz/FRA), Franck Kessié (Bergamo/ITA), Yao Serge N’Guessan (Nancy/FRA), Jean-Michaël Séri (Nice/FRA)
Forwards: Wilfried Bony (Stoke City/ENG), Max-Alain Gradel (Bournemouth/ENG), Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa/ENG), Giovanni Sio (Rennes/FRA), Salomon Kalou (Hertha Berlin/GER), Nicolas Pépé (Angers/FRA), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace/ENG)