Kaizer Chiefs target Abubeker Nasir Ahmed Abubeker has been named amongst the crop of rising talents on the continent born in this millennium headlining the youth ahead of the start of the AFCON finals on Sunday.
With all final squads for the tournament having now been unveiled the Ethiopian forward makes the list of those born from January 1, 2000.
While there were only four players (Marc Lamti, Cheick Doucoure, Rodrigue Kossi and Edimar Ca) born in the 2000s at the last tournament in Egypt the numbers have ballooned this year to over 20.
Abubeker – who turns 22 next month – heads off to the tournament not just as a squad member like many of those falling into the 2000s category but definite to start matches in Group A which features hosts Cameroon, Burkina Faso, and Cape Verde.
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The Ethiopian forward is on the target list at Naturena and the Afcon finals will further validate if he is really worthy of being signed.
He has been slow off the mark in the BetKing Ethiopian Premier League with his club Ethiopian Coffee (Ethiopia Bunna) but now has four in the nine games old league.
Chiefs are monitoring Abubeker with both a January transfer window and end of season move in mind depending on when Lazarous Kambole leaves.
Last season he scored 29 goals in 22 games on his way to being crowned the league’s top goals scorer, Best Young Player, and the Most Valuable Player.
He was also the CECAFA Under-23 Challenge Best Player.
The youngest player at the AFCON this year Lekoueiry Beyatt Beyatt of Mauritania born on April 11, 2005.