FC Basel midfielder Geoffroy Serey Die has been named as the Cote d'Ivoire's new captain ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Morocco, coach Michel Dussuyer confirmed in a press conference on Wednesday, but he's a flawed pick to lead the Elephants' young post-Golden Generation squad.
Speaking to the media ahead of the meeting with the Atlas Lions in Marrakech on November 12, the French coach confirmed that the tenacious Switzerland-based operator will be leading the Elephants out for the foreseeable future.
Dussuyer has seen his plans for the upcoming showdown with the North African giants and former Cote d'Ivoire coach Herve Renard shattered by a serious injury to star forward Gervinho.
The 29-year-old, who was named among the 30-man shortlist for Caf's African Player of the Year award last month, has been ruled out for approximately six months after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament during a training session for club side Hebei China Fortune.
While perhaps the bigger issue of how to replace Gervinho's pace, creativity and goal threat is yet to be solved by Dussuyer, Serey Die will lead the African champions out against Morocco and in a friendly against France in Lens three days later.
The tenacious Basel man will perhaps not be the most vocal of captains, but he ensures 100 percent commitment and will doubtless lead the way with his blood-and-thunder displays in the heart of the park for the Elephants.
However, as he demonstrated in the Champions League on Wednesday evening, when he was dismissed for two yellow cards in the space of six second-half minutes as FC Basel fell to a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain.
The tie was tightly poised with the two sides level when the West African was dismissed, and without him, they conceded a last-minute goal which eliminates them from the UCL.
At 31, he is one of the elder statesmen in the new squad being constructed by Dussuyer, who has had to deal not just with the injury to Gervinho but also Salomon Kalou's fitness concerns and the international retirement of erstwhile captain Yaya Toure, leaving him short of natural choices for skipper.
However, it's a squad that is beginning to look worryingly short of experience as they look to book their place in Russia in 2018 and as their title defence in Gabon next year draws closer.
Key members of the Golden Generation such as Didier Drogba, Sol Bamba and Didier Zokora had all already left the squad before the 2015 Nations Cup success, while the Toure brothers, Chieck Tiote and Boubacar Barry have been moved on-one way or another-since the tournament triumph in Equatorial Guinea.
Indeed, of the eleven that took to the field in the decisive World Cup 2014 group decider against Greece just over two years ago, Serey Die and Aurier are the only two who have been regular figures under Dussuyer, with Kalou playing in just three of the Ivorians' last eight matches.
Wilfried Kanon and Eric Bailly were introduced to the side ahead of the Nations Cup, while talented yet inexperienced heads such as Jean Seri, Franck Kessie and Jonathan Kodjia have all integrated successfully into the squad...and into the shoes vacated by the departing Golden Generation.
He may have experience, but will Serey Die, for all of his bluster and endeavour, be the man to unite this young, promising squad, or are more problems mounting for the Elephants ahead of their title defence?