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Premier League lead African nominations

November 5, 2012
By ESPN staff

Four Premier League stars lead the way in the ten-man shortlist for the African Footballer of the Year award.

Ivory Coast international Yaya Toure in action for Manchester City
GettyImagesIvory Coast international Yaya Toure in action for Manchester City

Yaya Toure, Gervinho, Demba Ba and John Obi Mikel are joined on the list by Didier Drogba and Alex Song who both left England this summer.

Toure, who won the prize in 2011, will face strong competition to retain the award, with three of the Ivory Coast side which reached the African Cup of Nations final nominated alongside the captain of eventual victors Zambia, Chris Katongo.

Song's form for Arsenal was crucial in them recovering from an early season slump to secure third place in the league last season, and earned him a move to Barcelona.

While two-time winner Drogba was recently voted the best Chelsea player of all-time, and played a key role in Roberto Di Matteo's Champions League and FA Cup winning side in 2012.

Moroccan midfielder Younes Belhanda, who won Ligue 1 with Montpellier, and Marseille's Andre Ayew, who scored 16 goals last term, are the most notable nominations without Premier League links.

The list will be cut to three names before the winner is announced in Accra on December 20.

The full shortlist: Alexandre Song (Cameroon), Andre Ayew (Ghana), Christopher Katongo (Zambia), Demba Ba (Senegal), Didier Drogba (Cote D'Ivoire), Gervinho (Cote D'Ivoire), John Obi Mikel (Nigeria), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon), Yaya Toure (Cote D'Ivoire), Younes Belhanda, (Morocco).