Thursday Oct 03, 2019. 12:00
Former France junior international Giannelli Imbula has been cleared to play for the democratic Republic of Congo and has been included in their squad for friendly internationals against Algeria and Ivory Coast on October 10 and 14.
The Belgian-born defensive midfielder had been on the radar of DR Congo for some time, qualifying through his parents, and was included in the country’s provisional squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, but could not get his paperwork through in time.
However, those issues are now a thing of the past, and new coach Christian Nsengi-Biembe has selected him for the high-profile friendly matches.
Imbula has previously played for Guingamp, Marseille and FC Porto, and is currently on the books of English Championship side Stoke City, though he has been loaned out to Italian club Lecce.
DR Congo have also recalled Dieumerci Mbokani, Gael Kakuta and Neeskens Kebano, who did not make the Nations Cup selection, but the likes of Tresor Mputu Mabi, Youssouf Mulumbu and Jonathan Bolingi have been axed as nine members of the team that went to Egypt have not been retained.
DR Congo squad:
Goalkeepers: Parfait Mandanda (Royal Charleroi, Belgium), Anthony Mossi (Chiasso FC, Switzerland), Jackson Lunaga (AS Vita Club)
Defenders: Jordan Botaka (Sint-Truidense, Belgium), Jordan Ikoko (Ludogorets, Bulgaria), Christian Luyindama (Galatasaray, Turkey), Wilfred Moke (Ankaragucu, Turkey), Kelvin Mundeko (TP Mazembe), Marcel Tisserand (Wolfsburg, Germany), Chancel Mbemba (FC Porto, Portugal), Ava Dongo (AS Vita Club), Arthur Masuaku (West Ham United, England), Glody Ngonda (Dijon, France)
Midfielders: Merveille Bope and Paul-Jose Mpoku (Standard Liege, Belgium), Jacques Maghoma (Birmingham City, England), Edo Kayembe (Anderlecht, Belgium), Giannelli Imbula (Lecce, Italy), Samuel Moutoussamy (Nantes, France), Gael Kakuta (Amiens FC, France), Neeskens Kebano (Fulham, England)
Forwards: Chadrac Akolo (Amiens FC, France), Yannick Bolasie (Sporting Lisbon, Portugal), Dieumerci Mbokani (Royal Antwerp, Belgium), Cedric Bakambu (Beijing Guoan, China), Jackson Muleka (TP Mazembe)