Alex Iwobi is – surprisingly – in contention for the CAF Africa Player of the Year after the Nigerian youngster made the category’s 10-man shortlist.
Last month CAF published 34 potential winners including Ahmed Musa and Odion Ighalo, but the duo did not make the second cut.
Last year’s winner Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, runners-up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sadio Mane also made the 11-man cut.
Three players based in Africa including Uganda’s legendary goalkeeper, Dennis Onyango was named.
THE TOP 10 SHORTLIST: African Player of the year #CAFAWARDS18 pic.twitter.com/0lTh0cNZyx
— CAF (@CAF_Online) December 14, 2018
Iwobi enjoyed brief run with Nigeria in the build up to the World Cup and found his spark inside two months under new Arsenal Manager Unai Emery.
The shortlisted nominees were decided by votes from the members of the CAF Technical & Development Committee.
The final phase will involve votes from CAF Media Experts, Legends, Coaches of the quarter-finalists of the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup, and Coaches & Captains of the 54 Member Associations.
The Awards Gala, to honour footballers and officials who distinguished themselves during the year under review, will be held on Tuesday, 8 January 2019 in Dakar, Senegal.
Meanwhile, his Super Eagle teammate Wilfred Ndidi made the final three man shortlist for the Youth Player of the Year.
Super Falcons and the team’s Head Coach Thomas Dennerby made the final three for the Women’s National Team and Women’s Coach of the Year categories.