West Ham's Arthur Masuaku gets his first DR Congo call-up
West Ham United left back Arthur Masuaku has been called up for the first time by the Democratic Republic of Congo for their two key World Cup qualifiers against Tunisia next month.
Coach Florent Ibenge named a 36-man squad for what will likely prove decisive games at the Stade Olympique in Rades on 1 September and then Kinshasa's imposing Stade de Martyrs five days later.
The two countries share top place in Group A with two wins out of two on the road to Russia.
The 23-year-old Masuaku, who was born in Lille and played for France at junior level, reportedly switched his international allegiance to the Congolese in June.
He is one of five newcomers, joined in the squad by Kevin Mbabu, who moved back to Switzerland from Newcastle United last month and now plays for early season league leaders Young Boys Berne.
French-born midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, 20, who last weekend made his Ligue 1 debut for newly promoted Amiens against Paris St Germain, is also included along with 24-year-old Vital Nsimba from Ligue 2 outfit Bourg-en-Bresse.
Chadrac Akolo, who has just signed for VfB Stuttgart in the German Bundesliga after 15 goals for FC Sion in the Swiss league last season, is also called up for the first time.
The 24-year-old Middlesbrough striker Britt Assombalonga is also in the squad again although he has turned down several previous call-ups and is yet to win a cap.
Also new is 26-year-old AS Vita Club defender Padou Bompunga, who plays under Ibenge at club level.
There is a return to the squad for Jordan Botaka, Elias Kachunga, Neeskens Kebano, Nicaisse Kudimbana, Paul-José Mpoku, Arnold Issoko and Marcel Tisserand after missing June's African Nations Championship (CHAN) derby against Congo in Kinshasa.
But Youssouf Mulumbu, Yannick Bolasie and Dieumerci Mboikani continue to be sidelined.
DR Congo are the first of the 20 counties who all play in World Cup qualifiers to name their squad for September's key games.
Goalkeepers: Joel Kiasumbua (FC Lugano, Switzerland), Nicaisse Kudimbana (Union Saint-Gilles, Belgium), Ley Matampi (TP Mazembe Englebert)
Defenders: Yannick Bangala, Padou Bompunga (both AS Vita Club), Jordan Ikoko (En Avant Guingamp, France), Arnold Issoko (Vitoria Setubal, Portugal), Christian Luyindama (Standard Liège, Belgium), Arthur Masuaku (West Ham United, England), Kevin Mbabu (Young Boys Berne, Switzerland), Issama Mpeko (TP Mazembe Englebert), Glody Ngonda (AS Vita Club), Fabrice Nsakala (Alanyasport, Turkey), Vital Nsimba (Bourg-en-Bresse, France), Marcel Tisserand (FC Ingolstadt, Germany), Gabriel Zakuani (Gillingham, England)
Midfielders: Chadrac Akolo (VfB Stuttgart, Germany), Merville Bokadi (Standard Liège, Belgium), Neekens Kebano (Fulham, England), Jacques Maghoma (Birmingham City, England), Chancel Mbemba (Newcastle United, England), Wilfred Moke (Konyaspor, Turkey), Remi Mulumba (Gazelec Ajaccio, France), Tanguy Ndombele (Amiens, France), Yeni Ngbakoto (Queens Park Rangers, England)
Forwards: Benik Afobe (Bournemouth, England), Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough, England), Jeremy Bokila (CFR Cluj, Romania), Jonathan Bolingi (Royal Excel Mouscron, Belgium), Cédric Bakambu (Villarreal, Spain), Jordan Botaka (St Truiden, Belgium), Junior Kabananga (FC Astana, Kazakhstan), Elias Kachunga (Huddersfield Town, England), Gael Kakuta (Amiens, France), Paul-José Mpoku (Standard Liège, Belgium), Firmin Mubele (Stade Rennes, France).