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Mikel, Mahrez, Iheanacho, Musa vie for 2016 African Player Award


Leicester City's Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez (AFP Photo/Ben Stansall)

Leicester City’s Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez (AFP Photo/Ben Stansall)

John Obi Mikel, Riyad Mahrez, Kelechi Iheanacho and Eric Bailly are among several English Premiership stars in the running for the African Player of the Year award.

Other stars listed included Andre Ayew, Islam Slimani, Mohamed Elneny, Victor Wanyama, Ahmed Musa, Yannick Bolasie, Sadio Mane and Wahbi Khazri are also up for the gong from English clubs.

Borussia Dortmund striker Aubameyang won the accolade, conferred by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), for 2015 after a scorching start to the previous season for the Bundesliga club.

The Gabon international beat off competition from Ayew and Toure, who made headlines with his bitter reaction.

Toure had captained Cote d’Ivoire to victory in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations and, upon being overlooked, branded the decision to honour Aubameyang as “pathetic”.

Having been frozen out at Manchester City since the arrival of Pep Guardiola, the 33-year-old has not made the 30-man shortlist for the next edition of the continental award, denying him the chance of winning for a record fifth time.

Samuel Eto’o has been included and will be aiming to achieve that feat himself while other notable names include Serge Aurier, Gervinho, Medhi Benatia and Kalidou Koulibaly.

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