• Gervinho misses out on AFCON 2017 due to injuries
  • Zaha who has earned two caps with England also makes the squad and so does Manchester United’s injured defender  
Eric Bailly has been named on Ivory Coast’s provisional squad for AFCON 2017 Courtesy

Defending champions Cote d’Ivoire have named Crystal Palace attacker Wilfried Zaha and Manchester United defender Eric Bailly in their provisional squad ahead of the 2017 Africa Nations Cup finals.

The 24-man squad was read out by Coach Michel Dussayer in a press conference in Abidjan on Wednesday.

Zaha, a former England international who earned two caps for Three Lions is eligible to play for The Elephants since his appearances for 1966 World Champions were friendlies.

The Crystal Palace man was born in Ivory Coast 24 years ago, his parents shifted to England but made a decision to switch allegiance a month ago.

Dussayer has also named Bailly whose start to his Manchester United career has been hit by injuries but there is no place for injured forward, Gervinho.

“Gervinho’s absence [out injured] weighs down on us, for sure. But we have had several weeks to get used to the idea,” Dussuyer told reporters at a press conference in Abidjan on Wednesday as quoted by BBC Sport.

“The arrival of Zaha is therefore great news. His profile is similar to Gervinho’s.”

Uganda Cranes Friendly

The defending champions have a training camp in Abu Dhabi starting on 2 January and have arranged an international friendly with the 1978 finalists Uganda Cranes.

They are in group B that has DR Congo, Togo and Morocco and kick off the tournament against The Sparrow Hawks of Togo on January 16.

The Squad:

Goalkeepers: Sylvain Gbohuo (TP Mazembe – DR Congo), Badra Sangare (AS Tanda – Ivory Coast), Mande Sayouba (Stabaek – Norway)

Defenders: Serge Aurier (PSG – France), Mamadou Bagayoko (St Trond VV – Belgium), Eric Bailly (Manchester United – England), Simon Deli (Slavia Prague – Czech Rep), Ousmane Viera Diarrassouba (Adanaspor – Turkey), Wilfried Kanon (ADO La Haye – Netherlands), Lamine Kone (Sunderland AFC – England), Adama Traore (FC Bale – Switzerland)

Midfielders: Victorien Angban (Grenade – Spain), Cheik Doukoure (FC Metz – France), Franck Kessie (Atalanta – Italy), Yao Serge N’guessan (AS Nancy – France), Geoffroy Serey Die (FC Bâle – Switzerland), Jean Michael Seri (OGC Nice – France)

Forwards: Wilfried Bony (Stoke City FC – England), Max Gradel (Bournemouth – England), Salomon Kalou (Hertha Berlin – Germany), Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa – England), Nicolas Pepe (Angers – France), Giovanni Sio (Stade Renne – France), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace – England)

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