By Joe Acklam Sports Reporter
Saidou Khan revealed that he has already secured a prestigious shirt swap at the African Cup of Nations if he makes the final The Gambia squad.
The former Chesterfield midfielder has been part of the last three squads for the nation of his birth, who are pitted against Senegal, Cameroon, and Guinea in the group stages of the tournament in Cote d’Ivoire this January.
Khan said that as the draw was being made, he used his contacts within the Senegal squad to make sure that he would be able to get the shirt of Sadio Mane if he is included in Tom Saintfiet’s squad.
He said: “I have already claimed his [Mane’s] shirt because my friend, Cheikhou Kouyate, is the captain of Senegal.
“As the draw came out I messaged him asking for Sadio Mane’s shirt and his shirt, and he has already promised it to me.
“That is already lined up that if I get the call-up then I am going to come back with Sadio Mane’s shirt.
“It is amazing that we are playing against Senegal because Gambia is inside of Senegal and back in the day when I was young when Gambia played against Senegal it was a big rivalry and all of the shops were closed.
“At the time most of the shops were owned by Senegalese people, so when Senegal won, we would go out as young boys to riot and start screaming abusive language.
“There is a lot of history there and I have family in Senegal, as well, so it would be good to be able to beat them.”
Khan is yet to make his debut for The Gambia, despite having been called up twice before, and he is hopeful that he will be able to do that in this forthcoming international window.
He said: “I am excited to go away, every call-up I get feels like the first one ever and I am really looking forward to it.
“I think that because it is World Cup qualifiers and we have already qualified for AFCON, I might get the opportunity to play.
“That is the aim of every player when you get called up for your national team, you want to pull on the shirt and show the country what you can do.
“I am working hard to get that opportunity and when I do get it, I want to give it my best shot.