Masuaku gets DR Congo call

DR Congo coach Florent Ibenge has named uncapped Arthur Masuaku of West Ham in a 26-man squad for a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Liberia.

Masuaku, who played for France at youth levels, has been called up twice before but is yet to play for the Leopards.

In March the defender was one of four players to drop out of a friendly against Tanzania citing "organizational disorder and travel frustration".

However there is no place in the squad for China-based star Cedric Bakambu.

Bakambu has not been included despite his good form with his Chinese Super League Beijing Guoan, for who he has scored 13 goals in 15 appearances this season.

The 27-year-old's move to China made him the most expensive African player in history.

Chancel Mbemba and Marcel Tisserand are both absent due to injury, while Gael Kakuta has also been overlooked for the game in Monrovia on September 9.

Yannick Bolasie, who won his 32nd caps against Tanzania in March and recently joined Aston Villa on a season-long loan from Everton, is also included.

DR Congo began their 2019 Nations Cup qualifying campaign with a 3-1 win over visiting neighbours Congo Brazzaville 3-1 in June 2017, with Bakambu scoring twice.

Zimbabwe, who beat Liberia 3-0 in Harare last June, lead Group G on the superior goal difference.

DR Congo squad:

Goalkeepers: Ley Matampi Mvumi (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Anthony Mossi Ngawi (FC Chiasso Switzerland), Nathan Mabruki (DC Motema Pembe, DR Congo)

Defenders: Issama Mpeko Djos (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Djuma Shabani Wadol, Glody Ngonda Muzinga and Yannick Bangala Litombo (AS Vita Club, DR Congo); Jordan Ikoko (Guingamp, France), Arthur Masuaku (West Ham United, England), Bobo Ungenda Muselenge (CD Primeiro de Agosto, Angola), Wilfred Moke (Konyaspor, Turkey), Christian Luyindama (Standard Liege, Belgium)

Midfielders: Nelson Munganga (AS Vita Club, DR Congo), Chikito Lema Mabidi (Raja Casablanca, Morocco), Neeskens Kebano (Fulham, England), Jacques Maghoma (Birmingham City, England), Paul-Jose Mpoku (Standard Liege, Belgium), Luamba Fabrice Ngoma (AS Vita Club, DR Congo)

Forwards: Firmin Ndombe Mubele (FC Toulouse, France), Junior Kabananga Kalonji (Al-Nassr, Saudi Arabia), Elia Lina Meschack (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Jonathan Bolingi (Mouscron, Belgium), Benik Afobe (Stoke City, England), Britt Assombalonga (Middlebrough, England), Yannick Bolasie (Aston Villa, England), and Chadrac Akolo (VfB Stuttgart, Germany).

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