Simon Adingra has been picked as the player that could hurt Nigeria and make the difference for Ivory Coast when both west African giants clash in the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, on Sunday.

Former Arsenal defender, Johan Djourou, is backing the Brighton & Hove winger to be the standout player at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan.

Ivory Coast has already suffered a defeat at the hands of Nigeria in the competition when both sides met in the second game of Group A. The Super Eagles managed a narrow 1-0 win.

Djourou, who was born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and went on to represent Switzerland internationally, is supporting the Elephants.

Djourou and Adingra played together at Danish club, FC Nordsjaelland.

But Adingra missed the start of the ongoing tournament due to a hamstring injury.

Having returned to fitness, he played a key role in Ivory Coast’s win over Mali in the quarterfinals.

Djourou noted that Adingra is the kind of player that should wear the colours of Premier League giants, Arsenal and Manchester City.

“Simon is the typical young guy that wants to learn. It was never a question of if he was going to make it, it’s just to give him the platform to do it. It’s hard to put a limit on what he can do,” he said to the BBC World Service.

“For me, he’s one of those that can easily play in the next few years for (Manchester) City or Arsenal or those kinds of teams because he’s so talented and has a very great personality. He works, wants to be better everyday.”

Asked if Adngra could be the star in the AFCON final, the former Switzerland International added, “I hope so but the thing is we should not forget that he arrived here injured.

“From where he’s coming from with that injury, it’s already good, good things he’s doing. Could he be the star in the final? If his fitness allows him I’m sure he’ll be.”

AFCON: Ex-Arsenal star picks Simon Adingra as Ivory Coast star to hurt Nigeria

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