Senegal – Aliou Cissé: “We’re not chasing any player”.
Aliou Cissé was in front of the press on Friday September 1st. The Senegalese coach raised several points, including the cases of Habib Diarra and Andy Diouf, who chose France over Senegal.
Senegal coach Aliou Cissé faced the press on Friday, September 1. The coach released a list of 25 players for the Lions’ friendly against Algeria. Aliou Cissé also mentioned the cases of Habib Diarra and Andy Diouf, recently selected for the French U-21 team. The African champion revealed that he had been in contact with both players’ entourages.
“Habib Diarra like Andy Diouf. We approached them. Every player has the right to make his choice. They’ve made their choice to stay with the EDF Espoirs. I’m praying for them and I hope they’ll do well and continue their careers. But we did what we had to do. The aim was to sell them the Senegal project. I spoke to Andy’s father and Diarra’s father, who is a former international. Before approaching the players, I first approach their parents.They were all honored by the phone call and the interest Senegal had in their children. They asked me for time. They thought about it and made their choice,” explained the Lions’ coach. “I’m not the type to run after anyone. I repeat, we’re not running after any player,” he says.
Cissé wants a quality team
While waiting for Senegal to sign up binationals, Aliou Cissé has full confidence in his key players.Sadio Mané, Idrissa Gana Gueye and Cheikhou Kouyaté are all on the list. However, there are two newcomers on the list.These are Lamine Camara and Abdoulaye Niakhaté Ndiaye. These players will have to fight hard to earn a place on the Senegalese team. The Senegalese team is bursting with talent.“The reality is that there’s always a lot of competition in this group.But this competition shouldn’t scare the players. It doesn’t scare me. The more quality there is, the better it is for Senegal. What’s important is that we work to make sure the team is the best it can be at the next African Cup. So much the better if we have 2/3 top-level players in the same position. This competition will exist on the pitch, where only the strongest and most competitive players will play,” declared Aliou Cissé.Edouard Mendy, who was left out of the Lions’ last training camp, is making a comeback. The former Chelsea goalkeeper remains Cissé’s No.1 keeper, but he will have to rise to the occasion, according to the Senegal coach.
“Edouard has status: African champion, European champion. He also knows African realities. He’s a step ahead of the others.But that’s not definitive. He’s coming back and will have to fight to keep his place, like all the other players in this team. The competition will be in defense, midfield and attack. I want Senegal to be strong in all these areas of the game. Let’s put together a very strong team to retain our title. To do that, we need players with quality.