Ten players to look out for in the AFC Asian Cup

Like the African Cup of Nations the AFC Asian Cup is scheduled in January and will witness the spectacle of superstars based in Asia and beyond. The competition will be played between 12th January and 10th February after being postponed last summer.

Such an enormous competition means that crucial star and key players will miss games in the middle of season across Europe.

Here are 10 notable stars who are going to be missed by their football clubs during the upcoming AFC Asia Cup.

10. Ritsu Doan

Doan is the seventh Japanese player on the list which is not a surprise given how well they did at the last World Cup. The right midfielder is a great player with a high technical base. His balance and agility which make him difficult for any fullback to contain.

9. Reo Hatate

Hatate is the kind of player that no matter what team he’s on or quality that he is up against would adapt to the situation that presents itself.  The Japanese midfielder’s potential is much higher than you would think especially if he continues on his trajectory.

8.Wataru Endo

Endo is not the main sole creator but he anticipates every danger and allows his teammates to play their game .He is Liverpool’s very own Ji Sung Park but Japanese. The midfielder has settled in well at Liverpool proving to his doubter that the £19 million price tag in the summer was a steal.


7. Hidemasa Morita

Morita is a turnover machine. In the last World Cup he was in the top four percent in blocks and passes and had 2.84 shot creating actions per 90. The Japanese is a complete midfielder one which you can rely on to get the job done in tough games as he doesn’t mind doing the dirty work for his teammates

6. Dachi Kamada

Kamada is an underrated player whose playing style has drawn comparisons to the legendary Keisuke Honda . He is simple, efficient and gets the job done. The playmaker has a strong influence on the whole team in both good and bad ways. If he is doing well, so will the team and if he is not the team won’t either.

5. Takefusa Kubo

Kubo is a very solid player with good fundamentals at only 21 and an aggression that many Japanese players don’t have. This is a product of playing in Spain for quite a while from a young age. In two to three years  there is every chance that he can become a star.

4. Karou Mitoma

Mitoma is not only Japan’s best player but the face of Japanese football for years to come. He is widely known for his dribbling and body feints. This is not surprising as he did a thesis at University about dribbling. It is hard to believe he has only been capped 18 times by his national team.

3. Mehdi Taremi

Iranian forward Mehdi Taremi is widely recognised for his impressive skills and clinical finishing. Despite not hitting the heights he is capable of this campaign for Porto he has proven his worth for his national team with 42 goals in 75 games.

2. Kim Min Jae

Kim Min Jae rise in football over the last 12 to 18 months has been something to behold. The South Korean played in the heart of a Napoli defence that made history last season. His performances garnered interest from Bayern Munich last summer.

The South Korean has been a mainstay in Bayern Munich’s backline this season having played 22 games across all competitions thus far.

1. Son Heung-min

Tottenham Hotspur will miss their talisman when he goes to the AFC Asian Cup with South Korea. Since Kane departed from the club he has gone up a level this season. The South Korean has scored 12 goals and registered 5 assists in 20 league appearances. His country will be hoping he can take this form into the tournament.


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