DR Congo, Liberia’s next opponents in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, have named a 26-man squad to face the Lone Stars on September 9, 2018, at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
DR Congo Coach Florent Ibenge, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), named uncapped Arthur Masuaku of West Ham in the 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 country’s national team the Leopards. He was one of four players that dropped from a friendly against Tanzania in March, citing “organizational disorder and travel frustration.”
Former Villarreal striker Cedric Bakambu, who is currently playing for Beijing Guoan in the Chinese Super League was left out of the 26-man list, despite scoring 13 goals in 15 appearances this season for his side.
Bakambu scored a brace in DR Congo’s opening match in their 2019 Nations Cup qualifying campaign when they defeated Congo Brazzaville 3-1 in June, 2017.
Yannick Bolasie, who has completed a loan move to Aston Villa, and won his 32nd cap against Tanzania in March is also included in the squad.
After completing his season-long loan switch to championship side Aston Villa, the 29-year-old Congolese forward promised to do whatever it takes to get them back into the Premier League.
Zimbabwe lead Group G on goal difference following their 3-0 win against Liberia in Harare last June.
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).