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African Cup of Nations to Sabotage Season?

Critical West Ham pair set to miss time

West Ham United v Burnley - Premier League
Andre Ayew is just starting to get in form for the Hammers, could he be gone for over a month?
Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan recently told the club’s website, whufc.com, that the team was looking to add new players to the squad during the transfer window and highlighted that the team would need to prepare not only for the rest of the season but the African Cup of Nations as well.

West Ham United v Hull City - Premier League
Kouyate absence will create a huge hole, no matter where he lines up for the Hammers.
Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Two first team players that are going to be going to the African Cup of Nations in Gabon are Andre Ayew with Ghana and Cheikhou Kouyate with Senegal. The African Cup of Nations is set to begin the 14th of January with the final set to be played on February 5th. Sofiane Feghouli is also set to miss time playing for Algeria.

Crystal Palace v West Ham United - Premier League
Another victory against Crystal Palace could be key to helping West Ham stay clear of the relegation places.
Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

During that time frame, West Ham have four matches scheduled. At home to Crystal Palace on January 14th, away to Middlesbrough on January 21st, home to Manchester City on the 1st of February, and Southampton away on the 4th of February. With West Ham only leaving the wrong end of the table only this past week, key players leaving for four critical matches is a potential disaster in the making.

Games against Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough should been seen as opportunities to pick up six points and help the team stay clear of the relegation zone. Hopefully Slaven Bilic and the chairmen have a plan in place to get reinforcements in the team before the critical stretch that could determine the team’s fate in the new year.