Sadio Mane, Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly have been called up for the Africa Cup of Senegal.
Liverpool forward Mane, the reigning African footballer of the year, will be key to Senegal’s hopes of winning a first continental title after finishing second at the last edition in Egypt in 2019.
Manager Aliou Cisse has selected 27 players for the tournament in Cameroon, including Napoli captain Koulibaly and Watford’s Ismaila Sarr, despite their recent injury problems.
The 30-year-old Koulibaly suffered a thigh strain earlier this month in Serie A with Napoli and was excluded for December, questioning his participation in the third consecutive Africa Cup of Nations.
Sarr hasn’t played since injuring his knee in Watford’s 4-1 win over Manchester United last month and was expected to be sidelined until February.
But Cisse took the opportunity to recover both early for the tournament, where Senegal begins their Group B campaign against Zimbabwe in Bafoussam on 10 January. He also faces Guinea and Malawi in the opening round.
Cisse also selected Crystal Palace’s Chiekhou Kouyate and Leicester’s Nampalys Mendy from the Premier League.
Paris Saint-Germain duo Idrissa Gana Gueye – formerly Everton – and Abdou Diallo are among other notable inclusions, along with Cagliari’s Keita Balde.
Full Senegal for AFCON
Goalkeepers: Seny Dieng (Queens Park Rangers), Alfred Gomis (Stade Rennes), Edouard Mendy (Chelsea)
Defenders: Fode Ballo-Toure (AC Milan), Saliou Ciss (Nancy), Pape Abou Cisse (Olympiakos), Abdou Diallo (Paris Saint-Germain), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli), Cheikhou Kouyate (Crystal Palace), Ibrahima Mbaye (Bologna ), Bouna Sarr (Bayern Munich), Abdoulaye Seck (Antwerp)
Midfielders: Idrissa Gana Gueye (Paris Saint-Germain), Pape Gueye (Olympique Marseille), Joseph Lopy (Socahux), Mamadou Loum (Deportivo Alaves), Nampalys Mendy (Leicester City), Moustapha Name (Paris FC), Pape Matar Sarr ( Metz)
Forwards: Keita Balde (Cagliari), Boulaye Dia (Villarreal), Famara Diedhiou (Alanayspor), Habib Diallo (Racing Strasbourg), Bamba Dieng (Olympique Marseille), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Ismaila Sarr (Watford), Mame Baba Thiam ( Kayserispor).