The next edition of African Cup of Nations will be held in January and February next year, with Liverpool set to miss star players during this time.
AFCON 2021 is set to have a detrimental impact on next year’s campaign. Especially for Liverpool. The Reds will be without Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Nabi Keita from January to February.
And it is that time of the year when a season can be made or fall on its face. It is a conundrum. One that will impact teams with stars from Africa.
Losing a player is difficult. Injuries and international breaks are always bemoaned. But not international competitions. However, a year leading into it, Liverpool are seeing issues.
Crying a year ahead
Jurgen Klopp has already come out and revealed his contempt. The German manager with all his stated he respected the competition but does not want it to conflict with the regular season.
“But it is an obvious problem that you play a tournament in the middle of the season, although it makes more sense for Africa to play it in our winter when the weather is better for them – I get that. The only problem is it’s a general problem.”
“A couple of things which are not okay: one thing is FIFA plans a tournament in the summer of 2021 [the Club World Cup], a week later the actual African Cup of Nations would have started I think, or maybe two weeks later, another tournament for a lot of world-class players. I mentioned that in the past.
The last three winners of African Player of the Year have been from Liverpool. The economic gains from having Salah and Mane winning cannot be discounted. The duo have made them behemoths in the African continent and the Reds should be counting their blessings.
Seeing a year ahead is good. It shows your mentality and how you are perceiving events. Liverpool can see that far ahead, the Premier League is all but won, even Guardila admits that. While, Champions League fixtures are a month away.
But this is highly irresponsible. Even if you disregard this January, the club will have the luxury of two full transfer windows to reinforce their squad.
You cannot have everything you want. This is not the way it works and Jurgen Klopp should get used to it.