The Confederation of African Football revealed its shortlist on Wednesday but there is no place among the nominees for Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez, who won the prestigious award in 2016 after a fine year with Leicester.
Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has also been nominated for the award, along with Premier League stars Eric Bailly and Christian Atsu.
ll but seven of the nominees play their football in Europe, with 44-year-old Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El Hadary being one of the stand-out inclusions.
Veteran goalkeeper El Hadary currently plies his trade for Al-Taawoun in Saudi Arabia.
Despite being named African Player of the Year in 2016, Mahrez is nowhere to be seen among the nominees this time round after failing to produce the form that saw him remarkably guide Leicester to the Premier League title in the 2015-16 season.
The winner will be announced in the Ghanaian capital of Accra on January 4, 2018.
The African Player of the Year will be determined by votes from a combination of managers and technical directors from national teams, as well as members of the Caf’s Technical and Development Committee and a panel of media experts.