Africa Cup of Nations matchday four brought with it a double dose of draws and two more useful showings from players linked with English moves.
The Ivory Coast ground out a 1-1 stalemate with Guinea after losing Gervinho to a first-half red card, while Mali and Cameroon shared the spoils of an identical score line.
Seydou Doumbia has been on Liverpool’s radar ever since the pacey Ivorian played an instrumental role in CSKA Moscow’s Champions League victory over Manchester City back in early November.
The 27-year-old was linked with a £15m switch in the aftermath of that shock success and did his chances no harm at all with a point-saving cameo against Guinea.
Despite observing the first 63 minutes of the Elephants’ suitably ponderous progress from the bench he came on to bag their equaliser, along with whoscored.com’s highest performance rating among his colleagues for the clash.
The Reds could face competition for Doumbia’s signature from Tottenham, with the Evening Standard reporting the CSKA man to have been on the Lilywhites’ January shortlist in December.
Doumbia is now 16/1 to carry off the tournament’s golden boot after opening his ACoN 2015 account.
In the later fixture former French Under-19 international centre-half Molla Wague showcased the form that saw him pique the interest of West Brom, Leicester and Brentford while at Caen in Ligue 1.
Now a starter for Mali, Wague put in a classy showing against Cameroon, comprising two tackles (one as last man), three interceptions and a mammoth 12 clearances.
He also found time to to assist Sambou Yatabare’s opener with an astute dead ball flick on.
Currently on loan at Udinese (where he has made just one Serie A start) from Granada, Wague’s performance will be of particular interest to Watford fans.
Under the ownership of the Pozzo family, who also run the Vicarage Road operation, the French-born defender could aid the Hornets’ Premier League promotion push.