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Spurs International: Tottenham will get at least one AFCON midfielder home by February 3

One (or both!) of Pape Sarr and Yves Bissouma will be home in time to play Brighton, if not earlier.

Namibia v Mali - TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Photo by Ulrik Pedersen/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

No matter what happens, Tottenham Hotspur will have one central midfielder back from the Africa Cup of Nations tournament by early February. While both Mali and Senegal advanced out of the group stages, they were placed in the same knock-out bracket and could face each other in the quarterfinals on February 3.

That means, assuming they both win their Round of 16 matches, at least one of Pape Matar Sarr and Yves Bissouma will be back in North London in time for Tottenham to face Brighton on February 10. And, if both teams slip up early, there’s even a chance one (or both!) could be back by the trip to Goodison Park to play Everton on February 3.

Sarr and Senegal drew home side Ivory Coast who struggled in the group stage, hilariously firing their head coach even though they squeaked into the knockout rounds as one of the four best 3rd place teams. Bissouma, who is apparently still struggling with illness, and Mali will face Burkina Faso in the Round of 16 on January 30.

Having either or both teams flame out so early in the tournament would be disappointing for both players, especially Senegal which looks to be one of the best teams in the competition. But it would be indisputably good for Tottenham Hotspur who are finally starting to get healthy and could, with some good performances and a bit of luck, make a push for the Premier League title in the back half of the season.

Meanwhile, in a wild match that just ended (and which I have yet to watch), Son Heung-Min and Korea inexplicably drew 3-3 against winless Malaysia in the Asian Cup group stage. That, combined with Bahrain beating Jordan, means Bahrain surprisingly wins the group with Korea coming in second. Jordan will also advance as one of the best third-placed group stage finishers.

Sonny scored from the penalty spot in 90+4’ to put Korea ahead, only to see Malaysia’s Romel Morales equalize in, get this, 90+15’. This takes them away from what would’ve been a Round of 16 tie against presumptive competition favorites Japan, but they still have a tough path to the final — Korea will face the winner of Group F (likely Saudi Arabia) in the Round of 16 on January 30 and could face Australia in the quarterfinals.