Nicolas Tie Chelsea

Chelsea academy goalkeeper Nicolas Tie has been forced to withdraw from Ivory Coast’s squad for their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Central African Republic (CAR).

The 17-year-old explained on social media that he is recovering from an injury.

“I am not in Abidjan with the Elephants because I [have] come back from injury. The club did not want to take a risk to make me leave,” he said.

Coach Ibrahim Kamara has also lost Adama Traore through injury after he damaged knee ligaments in a Turkish league match.

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha is in line to start against CAR after missing the 2-1 win in Rwanda last month for “personal reasons”.

Zaha has scored three goals in six Premier League matches this season, but is yet to score in a competitive international.

Kamara has also handed a first call-up for Toulouse midfielder Ibrahim Sangare.

Ivory Coast are currently second in Group H with three points from two matches,

Guinea top the pool with six points, CAR are on three and Rwanda are still without a point with the top tow securing a place at next year’s Nations Cup Nations finals in Cameroon.

Ivory Coast squad:

Goalkeepers: Ali Badra Sangare (Free State Stars, South Africa), Sylvain Gbohouo (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Abdoul Karim Cisse (ASEC Mimosas), Nicolas Tie (Chelsea, England)

Defenders: Serge Aurier (Tottenham, England), Eric Bailly (Manchester United, England), Mamadou Bagayoko (Mechelen, Belgium), Ghislain Konan (Reims, France), Adama Traore (Goztepe, Turkey), Kouadio-Yves Dabila (Lille, France), Wilfried Kanon (ADO Den Haag, Netherlands), Ismael Traore (Angers, France)

Midfielders: Ibrahim Sangare (Toulouse, France), Jean Michael Seri (Fulham, England), Cheick Doukoure (Levante, Spain), Franck Kessie (AC Milan, Italy) Serey Die (FC Basel, Switzerland), Victorien Angban (Metz, France)

Forwards: Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa, England), Roger Assale (Young Boys Bern, Switzerland), Nicolas Pepe (Lille, France), Max-Alain Gradel (Toulouse, France), Vakoun Bayo (Dunajska Streda, Slovakia), Maxwel Cornet (Lyon, France), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace, England)

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