Chelsea wonderkid Jeremie Boga commits to Ivory Coast
The Ivorian Football Federation have confirmed that Chelsea starlet Jeremie Boga and FC Mainz midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin have committed their international futures to the Elephants.
New coach Marc Wilmots is overseeing something of a recruitment drive since being appointed on March 21 as a replacement for Michel Dussuyer following the West Africans' miserable Nations Cup campaign.
Despite being tipped among the favourites for the continental showpiece in Gabon, the reigning champions fell at the hurdle after taking two points from their three matches.
Their miserable showing was despite the recruitment of Wilfried Zaha ahead of the tournament, while Maxwel Cornet and Seko Fofana have also been added to Wilmots' national pool since the Belgian coach took over.
According to a press release by the Ivorian Federation on Monday, the West Africans have now added Gbamin and Boga to the fold after president Augustin Sidy Diallo convinced both to commit their futures to the Elephants.
Wilmots also welcomed the duo on his official @WilmotsMarc Twitter handle, wishing the pair luck at the start of their international careers.
The versatile Gbamin represents a useful addition to the squad, with the Racing Club de Lens academy graduate able to play in various defensive positions and in the heart of the backline, where he will compete with Eric Bailly and WilfrIed Kanon for a starting spot.
The 21-year-old has featured 22 times in the Bundesliga this season, typically being used as a defensive midfielder by Mainz boss Martin Schmidt.
20-year-old Boga arguably represents a greater coup for the Ivorians, with the French youth international having been tipped as one to watch for several years.
He's yet to make the breakthrough at parent club Chelsea, but impressed on loan at Stade Rennais last season and has also demonstrated his versatility during 23 league outings at struggling Granada this term.