Who will be the Top Goalscorer at AFCON 2022 (2021)?
| by Kevin Richard
Who will be the top goalscorer at AFCON 2022 (2021)?
At the previous edition of the Africa Cup of Nations held in Egypt in 2019, a total of 109 goals were scored . Odion Ighalo, who finished third with his country Nigeria, was the top goalscorer with 5 goals. Who will succeed Ighalo in the tournament that is being held from January 9 to February 6 in Cameroon? A number of players are in contention.
Sadio Mané, out to go one better this time
Sadio Mané was a key member of the Senegalese side that lost in the 2019 AFCON final. This time around, he will want to do everything he can to help his country win the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in history. Mané, along with several more players, finished in second place in the 2019 top scorers' standings with three goals.
With over 120 goals behind his name since joining Liverpool, it's safe to say that the Senegalese striker knows his way around a goal. The Liverpool striker has enough quality to win the top scorer title. Recently, Mané scored three goals in five games for the World Cup qualifiers. Needless to say, much is expected of him this tournament!
Mohamed Salah, the Pharaoh in Cameroon?
It's already been a fruitful season for Mohammed Salah averaging nearly a goal a game for Liverpool. Now he turns his attention to international football and winning the title in Cameroon. Salah played four games in the 2019 tournament but will want to do better than that this time around. Will he continue his excellent goalscoring form at AFCON 2022 (2021(?
Salah has a team (Egypt) that at first glance is less powerful than, say, an Algeria and Senegal, but nevertheless the Liverpool player is a player who belongs in any list of possible top scorers. The Liverpool star can decide matches on his own and is therefore definitely a player to keep an eye on when predicting the Africa Cup 2022 (2021) top scorer.
Riyad Mahrez, Key player for defending champions
Riyad Mahrez had an excellent Africa Cup 2019. Of course, he did not win this competition alone, but with his attacking qualities and, among others, his late goal in the semi-final against Nigeria, he was hugely important for Algeria.
Since then, Mahrez has only developed even more under Pep Guardiola and has had a lot of success at Manchester City, though he is not cconsistently in their starting line-up. Mahrez has only become sharper and more decisive, something he may just be able to show at this 2022 Africa Cup of Nations. Moreover, his country Algeria is among one of the main contenders to win the 2022 Africa Cup (2021), so there is a good chance that he will play a lot of games. That can be a major factor on his chances of being top goalscorer.
Islam Slimani, one last time?
Islam Slimani, the Lyon striker who is not a regular starter at his club but continues to perform well with his country Algeria. Slimani became the top scorer in the Africa region in the World Cup qualifiers. With 7 goals in just 6 games, Slimani seems to be having a wonderful time with Algeria.
The Olympique Lyon striker is now 33 years old and is approaching the end of a successful international career.. The 2022 Africa Cup (2021) may be his last appearance in this tournament. What better scenario than to once again hold up the cup and also become top scorer of the tournament? Slimani is certainly capable enough to score goals!
Sébastien Haller, Back in Form
Finally, it would be wrong of us to Sébastien Haller. The Ajacied played for the youth teams of France, but did not get any chances at the highest level.. In 2020 Haller decided to play for Ivory Coast. It is clear that he is an added value there at the moment. After his difficult period at West Ham, he is this year in great form at Ajax.
Haller is currently top scorer in both the Eredivisie and the Champions League. Especially the latter is incredibly clever. Haller scored four times against Sporting in the first Champions League game. For Ivory Coast, the Ajax striker scored 2 goals in 4 games during World Cup qualification, a number he should be able to get over anyway. Haller will make his first appearance at the Africa Cup, though he has also done so in the Champions League this year and look what he's capable of! His odds in the top goalscorer market are indeed of interest.
Top goalscorer in recent AFCON tournaments
- 2019 | Odion Ighalo (Nigeria) - 5 goals
- 2017 | Junior Kabananga (R.D Congo) - 3 goals
- 2015 | Thievy Bifouma (Congo) - 3 goals
- 2013 | Mubarak Wakaso (Ghana) et Emmanuel Emenike (Nigeria) - 4 goals
- 2012 | Manucho (Angola) - 3 goals
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