European-based players to feature at Afcon 2021 including Salah, Mane, Mendy and Keita

Tournaments kicks off on January 9 in Cameroon and will run until February 6

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Some of the biggest names of European football are set to play in the 24-team Africa Cup of Nations that starts on January 9 and runs until February 6, 2022.

Unsurprisingly, this has caused tensions between European clubs and the African teams over the availability of players for what is a crucial period in the beginning of the new year.

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, Chelsea's Edouard Mendy, Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez and Paris Saint-Germain's Achraf Hakimi are just some of the more than 200 footballers who will be competing for African glory for their respective nations.

Managers of African nations have complained of the tournament being singled out for criticism over fixtures, with former England and Arsenal striker Ian Wright stating that coverage of the tournament and issue of player release during the European season is in contrast to how Euro 2020 was treated.

"We played our Euros across 10 countries in the middle of a pandemic and there's no issue at all. But Cameroon, a single country hosting a tournament, is a problem," Wright said in a post on social media.

The fact is, a number of players will be released in the new year to represent their country at Afcon 2021 in Cameroon. Below is a list of players across Europe's top leagues who are set to feature.

Updated: December 31, 2021, 4:08 AM