Top football agents have lauded the decision of the Confederation of African Football authorities to move the flagship competition, Africa Cup of Nations from February to June/July.
According to them, African players will be “more attractive” to European clubs. Previously, Premier League clubs were among those who faced losing players mid-season for several weeks.
“It’ll make my job easier as an agent. Clubs use it as an excuse not to sign African players,” said Papa Agyemang.
Changes to the competition, which will increase from 16 to 24 teams, were approved by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) at a conference in Morocco.
Players have previously been caught between duty for their national team and clubs that employ them.
“They will become more attractive because teams won’t be thinking about losing them every two years,” said Agyemang.
Saif Rubie, another agent who specialises in brokering deals for African players, said the tournament’s timing had a bearing on transfer deals.
“Some clubs 100% told me they would not bring in a player if they were tied to the Cup of Nations. Now it will mean they don’t have that concern,” said Rubie, who is also the agent of former Chelsea and Ghana coach Avram Grant.
“The flip side is they will be playing in the summer, so could be late for the start of the season though it’s better to have a player missing part of August than most of January and February.
“I believe it will mean a player has more of a chance of being signed as opposed to under the old schedule.”