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These are the most exciting talents at the 2023 AFCON so far

Does Mohammed Kudus still count as a talent, or is he no longer one? In professional football, it's usually said that you're a talent until you're around 23 years old - so he is.

AFCON – Chaiwa

But when you see how he carried the Black Stars on his back, talent would be an understatement. At this year's AFCON, there were several other lesser-known players who also put in great performances. Here is a list:

Zambia may have been eliminated for good with their 1-0 defeat to Morocco on Wednesday night, but one player really impressed yesterday.

The 19-year-old displayed great ball handling, wonderful vision, and real strength in tackles, as well as a great offensive drive. He was a big reason why Zambia suddenly found themselves in contention for qualification for the knockout phase in the second half.

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Definitely a promise for the future. Chaiwa currently plays for BSC Young Boys in Switzerland and has featured in three Champions League matches this season.

The Egyptian will celebrate his 25th birthday at the beginning of February and has therefore already passed the actual talent threshold - but he is still worth a mention.

With his lively, quick playing style, Marmoush has been a great addition to the team so far. He scored against the Black Stars and should be back in the starting line-up against DR Congo in the round of 16.

Marmoush currently plays for Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany and is having a very strong season. He has already scored 12 goals in 25 games for the "Mainhattan" club.

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The Gambian only really impressed in the final group game against Cameroon. But the 19-year-old had already shown his speed, dribbling ability, and direct route to goal in the games before that.

Although his goal against Guinea was disallowed for offside, his skills were on full display there. Mitneh is currently on loan from Newcastle United to Feyenoord Rotterdam. He made four appearances for the Dutch side in the Champions League this season, even scoring a goal against Celtic Glasgow.

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The Algerian may not have scored a goal at this AFCON, but he proved in many other ways why he is being tipped as the successor to Hakim Ziyech.

The 1.70m small winger is extremely quick, tricky, and knows how to score. In the second group game against Burkina Faso in particular, he literally ran rings around his opponents. Amoura has been playing for Union St. Gilloise since last August. He has scored 17 goals and provided three assists in 25 games for the Belgians.

The 20-year-old Ivorian may not yet be a starter, but in the game against Guinea-Bissau he showed why he could soon be one.

The 1.90-meter-tall center-back is quick and agile despite his physique and is also strong on the ball. No wonder the big clubs in Europe are keen on Diomande. He currently plays for Sporting Lisbon and has a market value of a whopping 40 million euros.

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Another center-back who shows promise for the future. The Cape Verde player impressed against Ghana, Mozambique, and Egypt.

The 22-year-old is extremely strong in tackles and is one of the players with the best tackle rate at the AFCON. He is also very good at distributing the ball. Costa was born in France and is now a regular for Toulouse.

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The 20-year-old was named Man of the Match against Tunisia. And rightly so, as he had a hand in two of the three goals.

The attacking midfielder also provided an assist in the first group game against South Africa. Despite his height, the 170-meter player is physically strong, agile, and always looks for a quick route to goal. Doumbia is currently on loan from Stade Reims to Stade Brest.

Most of the regular goalkeepers at the AFCON are a little older and no longer fall into the talent category. Not so the man from Equatorial Guinea.

The 22-year-old has long been a regular for his country, is quick to react, and a very reliable goalkeeper for his age. He kept a clean sheet against Côte d'Ivoire, got awared with the Man-of-the-Match-trophy and also put in a very strong performance against Nigeria. Owono currently plays for the Spanish first division club Deportivo Alaves.

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Many African players such as Salah and Osimhen are already dominating European football, and not just in their national teams. Looking at these up-and-coming stars, this is also very likely to be the case in the future.

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