Will The King Of African Football Be Dethroned This January?

The Confederation of African Football has released a 10-man short list of players eligible for the player of the year award. Find out who Toure's biggest competition is this year.

The Confederation of African Football player of the year award shortlist has been released ahead of the award ceremony on January 7, 2016. The full list can be seen below in alphabetical order. 

Player National Team Club
Aymen Abdennour Tunisia Valencia
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Gabon Borussia Dortmund
Serge Aurier Cote d'Ivoire Paris Saint-Germain
Andre Ayew Ghana Swansea City
Yacine Brahimi Algeria Porto
Mudather Eltaib Ibrahim 'Karika' Sudan El Hilal
Sofiane Feghouli Algeria Valencia
Sadio Mane Senegal Southampton
Mohamed Salah Egypt Roma
Yaya Toure Cote d'Ivoire Manchester City

The winner will be determined by votes casted by coaches or technical directors in conjunction with the CAF.  

Manchester City’s Yaya Toure stands out as one of the favorites to win the award this year, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could come out on top if his explosive, Lewandowski-esque form continues for the next two months. On paper, there is no competition between the two African shortlisted players. Aubameyang surpasses Yaya Toure in goals and assists having already scored 20 goals in just 18 matches. As the top Bundesliga scorer, there is simply no comparison between Aubameyang and any of the other shortlisted players in contention.  

There’s a reason why the Gabonese striker was quoted saying, “Sometimes I tell myself: F***, I’m really good”

Yet, Yaya Toure’s presence on the ball at City has been key during captain Vincent Kompany’s time on the bench. The Ivory Coast legend has appeared in all but one of Manchester City’s sixteen matches and could win his fifth consecutive CAF award since arriving in England in 2010. Toure’s impressive run in the African Cup of Nations gave the Elephants their second title ever since 1992. Is that enough for Yaya Toure to steal the show for a fourth year in a row? Or is this a turning point in African football to bring the younger generation to the center stage in Europe’s top leagues. 

The Premier League and La Liga dominate the list with the most amount of players selected from their respective leagues. Andre Ayew and Sadio Mane have become explosive forwards for Swansea City and Southampton, while Aymen Abdennour and Sofiane Feghouli have become stand out stars at Valencia. 

The Ayew brothers caught the attention of the media this year when they transferred from the French Ligue 1 in the same summer. The older brother, Andre, became a natural replacement to Swansea’s former African striker, Wilfried Bony, and has impressed not only the Welsh crowd but the entire league with five Premier League goals to date.

Watch for the results of the Confederation of African Football player of the year award on January 7th to see if Yaya Toure will steal the prize one more year in a row, or if it will go to the budding talent of Aubameyang or the rising Premier League stars.  

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