AFCON + Asian Cup latest: When will Son return?

The round of 16 of both the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and the Asian Cup are over, so we now know which Premier League players are in line for a Gameweek 23 return.

Son Heung-min (£9.7m) came within minutes of an elimination and a flight back to the Premier League on Tuesday night.

But a late South Korea equaliser and a subsequent penalty shootout victory over Saudi Arabia ensured that Son will remain in Qatar and miss at least one more Gameweek.

We take a look at what sort of chance South Korea has of progressing further into the Asian Cup, as well as rounding up the names we can expect to see back available in Fantasy Premier League this weekend.


Before we begin, a reminder of how the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) calendar corresponds to the tournaments in Ivory Coast and Qatar:

Salah injured but Egy


Country Premier League players Last game was on…
Indonesia Justin Hubner (Wolves) Sun 28 Jan
Cameroon Andre Onana (Manchester United) Sat 27 Jan
Burkina Faso Bertrand Traore (Aston Villa), Dango Ouattara (Bournemouth), Issa Kabore (Luton) Tue 30 Jan
Egypt Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal) Sun 28 Jan
Morocco Sofyan Amrabat (Man Utd), Nayef Aguerd (West Ham) Tue 30 Jan
Senegal Nicolas Jackson (Chelsea), Idrissa Gueye (Everton), Fode Ballo-Toure (Fulham), Moussa Niakhate (Nottm Forest), Chekihou Kouyate (Nottm Forest), Pape Matar Sarr (Spurs) Mon 29 Jan

The group stage elimination of Algeria, Ghana and Tunisia at AFCON meant that six players, including Antoine Semenyo (£4.5m), Rayan Ait-Nouri (£4.5m) and Mohammed Kudus (£6.8m), were back for Gameweek 22.

Six more nations that can boast of Premier League representation then fell in the round of 16, meaning that we should see the above 14 players back in time for Gameweek 23.

In Andre Onana’s (£4.8m) case, he’s even going to return for Manchester United’s Thursday night Gameweek 22 meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Mohamed Salah (£13.1m) is already back at Liverpool and recovering from a hamstring injury, so Egypt’s exit means that the focus now is purely on him getting fit for the Reds and not returning for the latter stages of AFCON.


Country Premier League players Next plays When Bookies’ probability of progression
Iran Saman Ghoddos (Brentford) Japan Sat 3 Feb 35.2%
Japan Takehiro Tomiyasu (Arsenal), Kaoru Mitoma (Brighton), Wataru Endo (Liverpool) Iran Sat 3 Feb 64.8%
South Korea Son Heung-min (Spurs), Hwang Hee-chan (Wolves) Australia Fri 2 Feb 58.9%

It’s certainly not a given that South Korea will make it to the semi-finals, as they face Australia – who are just two places below them in the FIFA rankings – next.

If the Socceroos do come out on top, Son and Hwang Hee-chan (£5.6m) will be back in Gameweek 24 (Saturday 10 February).

There’s even a chance of those two returning for Gameweek 24 if South Korea are eliminated at the semi-final stage. The last-four clash, against Tajikistan or Jordan, will take place on Tuesday 6 February.

There is no third-place play-off in the Asian Cup, so losing semi-finalists can head straight home.

Country Premier League players Next plays When Bookies’ probability of progression
DR Congo Yoane Wissa (Brentford) Guinea Fri 2 Feb 56.0%
Ivory Coast Simon Adingra (Brighton), Serge Aurier (Nottm Forest), Willy Boly (Nottm Forest), Ibrahim Sangare (Nottm Forest) Mali Sat 3 Feb 58.9%
Mali Yves Bissouma (Spurs), Boubacar Traore (Wolves) Ivory Coast Sat 3 Feb 41.1%
Nigeria Frank Onyeka (Brentford), Calvin Bassey (Fulham), Alex Iwobi (Fulham), Ola Aina (Nottm Forest) Angola Fri 2 Feb 72.6%

There is a third-place play-off at AFCON, so anybody making it through to the last four won’t now return until Gameweek 25 regardless of whether they make the final.

Four of the remaining 11 players are on the books at Nottingham Forest, with two apiece at Brentford and Fulham.

Who played the most minutes over the March international break?