African Cup of Nations 2019: Top 5 contenders for the Golden Boot
The summer is set to get hotter as the 2019 African Cup of Nations kick starts this Friday with hosts Egypt playing Zimbabwe in the curtain raiser.
Contrary to the notion that this is going to be a rather somber affair with the competition traditionally struggling to whip up a frenzy, this year's edition of the tournament could be the one to look forward to, owing to the sheer number of stellar names heading to the Arab nation for the 21-day jamboree.
Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, along with Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez, Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly, Crystal Palace's Wilfred Zaha and Ajax's Hakim Ziyech are some of stars repping the competition, as the Egypt showpiece has an uncanny glamorous feel to it.
Given the attacking talents on board, we might have also have a fierce competition for the Golden Boot on our hands. So let's rank the five biggest favorites for the highest scorer distinction:
#5 Cedric Bakambu (DR Congo)
Does the name ring a bell? He once tormented defences in LaLiga with Villarreal, and also holds a decent record against the league’s top shouts such as Real Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla. He later became the most expensive African player of all time, when Chinese side Sinobo Guan signed him for €45 million in January last year.
Despite being on target against Tunisia and Libya during the qualifiers, he missed almost half of it as he was dropped from the squad.
But a fine start to the 2019 season in the Chinese league earned him a call up again, and struck the winner on the final day to down Liberia and seal the Leopards’ tickets to Egypt.
He ultimately finished his club season with nine goals and three assists in 13 appearances, so the omens for him going into the tournament are pretty good.