Bayer chief insists there are enough players to provide cover if Boniface, Tella, 3 others head for AFCONPublished: December 15, 2023
Managing Director of Sport of Bayer Leverkusen, Simon Rolfes has explained that the club have enough players to fill in for his African stars in contention to represent their respective nations at the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
Unbeaten in 23 matches across all competitions, the Bayer Leverkusen squad could be weakened in January with Victor Boniface, Nathan Tella, Edmond Tapsoba, Odilon Kossounou and Amine Adli all eligible to feature at the AFCON.
In a a worst case scenario, the aforementioned players could be missing when Bayer Leverkusen take on VfB Stuttgart in the quarterfinals of the DFB Pokal and important league matches with RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich.
Given that Bayer's final two games of the year are at home, it is being speculated that Bayer could lose their unbeaten run during the Africa Cup of Nations, with several key players likely to be unavailable for selection.
However, Rolfes has underlined that Bayer Leverkusen have the squad depth to compensate for the absent African players.
"We have always said that we have many, many good players. The team enjoys playing football. No matter who comes in," Rolfes was quoted as saying by Volksstimme.
"Let's wait and see who is ultimately nominated for the Africa Cup of Nations and how long they will be missing. But those who are there are all of a very, very good level.”
Boniface is a shoo-in to be named in Nigeria's traveling squad to Ivory Coast but his Bayer Leverkusen teammate Tella is not guaranteed a roster spot considering that he made his debut just last month.
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