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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La Liga (Spain)

From France's top flight whose clubs will lose the most number of players, we now move to their southwestern neighbours Spain where La Liga clubs are set to lose only 31 players.

Spanish giants Real Madrid and FC Barcelona have no absences to deal with, while fellow title challengers Atletico Madrid and Girona will see a player each leave for AFCON with Atletico Madrid set to miss the services of left-back Reinildo Mandava.

The biggest loss though could be for Real Sociedad, who will miss Takefusa Kubo for potentially more than a month based on his run with Japan in the Asian Cup. Real Sociedad would be sweating over his availability ahead of their Round of 16 clash against PSG in the UEFA Champions League.

Takefusa Kubo
Real Sociedad might be without star midfielder Takefusa Kubo for their Feb. 14 UCL match against PSG. / Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/GettyImages

Here are the players who will be traveling from Spain to Ivory Coast and Qatar:

Club

Players Missing

Athletic Club

Inaki Williams (Ghana)

Atletico Madrid

Reinildo Mandava (Mozambique)

Girona

Ibrahima Kebe (Mali)

Real Betis

Abde Ezzalzouli and Chadi Riad (Morocco), Youssouf Sabaly (Senegal)

Real Sociedad

Takefusa Kubo (Japan), Hamari Traore (Mali), Umar Sadiq (Nigeria)

Sevilla

Youssef En-Nesyri (Morocco)

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It will be interesting to see how clubs deal with the absences of some big players. An interesting month of football awaits as attention shifts to AFCON and the AFC Asian Cup.