Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Yves Bissouma dropped by Mali

Mali’s Yves Bissouma joined Brighton from Lille in July 2017

Mali coach Mohammed Magassouba has dropped Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma for an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier away to Gabon.

Bissouma, who has played 11 times for his this season, played in October’s goalless draw at home to Burundi.

He was then an unused substitute in the 1-1 draw in Bujumbura.

No reasohas been given his exclusion nor that of Udinese’s Molla Wague, who was also an unused substitute during October’s qualifiers.

Lens left back Massadio Haïdara, who was born in France and played at youth levels, gets a first call-up.

His clubmate Cheick Doucouré, 18, is also in line to make his debut, having missed the Burundi’s matches.

At youth level, Doucouré was in the squad when Mali lost 2-0 to Brazil in the third-place play-off match at the 2017 Fifa under-17 World Cup in India.

However there is still no place for captain Yacouba Sylla, who has not played for Belgium’s KV Mechelen since August and striker Bakary Sako, who recently moved to West Bromwich Albion.

Mali top the pool with eight points, one more than Gabon.

Burundi are third and they will host pointless South Sudan, who are already out of contention to reach the 2019 Nations Cup in Cameroon.

Mali squad:

Goalkeepers: Mamadou Samassa (Troyes, France), Djigui Diarra (Stade Malien), Adama Keita (Djoliba, Mali)

Defenders: Hamari Traoré (Stade Rennes, France), Falaye Sacko (Victoria de Guimarães, Portugal), Mamadou Fofana (Metz, France), Salif Coulibaly (Al Ahly, Egypt), Massadio Haïdara (Lens, France), Bakaye Dibassy (Amiens, France), Cheick Keita (Eupen, Belgium)

Midfielders: Amadou Haidara and Diadié Samassekou (Red Bull Salzburg, Austria); Souleymane Diarra and Cheick Oumar Doucouré (Lens, France); Lassana Coulibaly (Rangers, Scotland)

Forwards: Moussa Doumbia (Stade Reims, France), Moussa Marega (Porto, Portugal), Abdoulay Diaby (Sporting Lisbon, Portugal), Adama Traoré (Metz, France), Hadi Sacko (Las Palmas, Spain), Kalifa Coulibaly (FC Nantes, France), Moussa Djenepo (Standard Liège, Belgium), Adama Niane (Sporting Charleroi, Belgium)

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