European clubs set for tough January as stars head out for AFCON and Asian Cup

Teams across Europe will have to contend with the loss of key players including Mo Salah, Son Heung-min and Victor Osimhen

Tottenham's Son Heung-min (left) and Liverpool's Mo Salah (right) will be absent from Premier League for the next several weeks while on national team duty.
Tottenham's Son Heung-min (left) and Liverpool's Mo Salah (right) will be absent from Premier League for the next several weeks while on national team duty. / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages
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Bundesliga (Germany)

While Bundesliga clubs will only lose a total of 24 players, some big stars will be missing the action in January as the exciting Bundesliga title race enters the second half after the mid-season break.

Bayer Leverkusen, who currently top the league table, would've preferred there was no African Cup of Nations because they will lose several key players to the continental tournament.

After losing Victor Boniface to a groin injury (he'll be sidelined for six weeks), Bayer are set to lose centre-backs Edmund Tapsoba and Odilon Kossounou.

At the same time, their title competitors and record champions Bayern Munich are also set to miss key players at the back, with Kim Min-jae and Noussair Mazraoui's absences blowing a hole in their defensive reserves.

Xabi Alonso, Victor Boniface
Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso will be without Victor Boniface during the next month-and-a-half while also missing a couple other key roster components to the African Cup of Nations. / Christof Koepsel/GettyImages

VfB Stuttgart, who are currently third in the league table, will have to do without star striker Serhou Guirassy, whose 17 strikes in 14 games places him second in the Bundesliga's top scorers list behind Bayern Munich's Harry Kane.

Here's a quick look at some of the clubs who will bid a temporary Auf Wiedersehen to their players:

Club

Players Missing

Bayern Munich

Kim Min-Jae (South Korea), Noussair Mazraoui (Morocco)

Bayer Leverkusen

Odilon Kossounou (Ivory Coast), Amine Adli (Morocco), Edmund Tapsoba (Burkina Faso)

Borussia Dortmund

Sebastien Haller (Ivory Coast), Ramy Bensebaini (Algeria)

VfB Stuttgart

Jeong Woo-Yeong (South Korea), Serhou Guirassy (Guinea), Silas Wamangituka (DR Congo), Hiroki Ito (Japan)

The next month will be a stern test for Xabi Alonso in his quest to win Leverkusen's first league title while also preparing his team for their Europa League knockout clashes.