International tournaments are a world football scout’s dream. Rarely are so many players, from so many far-flung places, gathered in a region for weeks at a time, testing their skills against top-level opposition.
The Africa Cup of Nations is a perfect example of such a competition. Although the domestic leagues in many parts of the continent are improving in both quality and organization, the event centralizes African talent, which is often lightly scattered from the developing sub-Saharan divisions to the more established leagues of West and North Africa to the most prominent divisions in Europe.
No doubt a handful of players will use the 2013 Cup of Nations in South Africa as a springboard to bigger clubs and better wages. Granted, not all of them will hit the ground running. But for every Emmanuel Mayuka, who has struggled since joining Southampton from Young Boys following the 2012 AFCON, there will be a Modibo Maiga, who has impressed at West Ham since a July transfer from Sochaux.
The following slides reveal five players at the 2013 instalment of Africa’s most prestigious tournament who could be swapping one club for another in the coming months—some, perhaps, as soon as next week.