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Arsenal youngster Bennacer called up to Algeria’s AFCON squad


(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Algeria have called up Arsenal youngster Ismael Bennacer to their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations squad as a replacement for injured Saphir Taider.

Bennacer, who was born in France to an Algerian father and a Moroccan mother, had represented France at youth levels, before switching allegiance to Algeria last year.

He made his international debut in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Lesotho in September, which ended in a 6-0 victory for the Desert Foxes.

The 19-year-old midfielder is currently part of Arsenal’s Premier League second string side. He made his senior debut as a substitute in a 3-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday during the 2015 League Cup.

Bologna midfielder Taider was ruled out of Algeria’s AFCON campaign after picking up an injury during a training session.

Algeria were drawn in Group B in the AFCON alongside North African side Tunisia, Senegal and Zimbabwe. They will kick off their campaign by facing Zimbabwe on Jan. 15.

An African football Journalist based in Livingstone, Zambia.

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