David Moyes hopes Sunderland can come through the African Cup of Nations with no ill effects.
The Black Cats are set to lose Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia), Lamine Kone (Ivory Coast) and Didier Ndong (Gabon) for the tournament which starts next month.
In-form defender Papy Djilobodji could also feature for Senegal.
Thankfully for Moyes, Nigeria did not qualify which means they won't lose Victor Anichebe.
"The African Cup of Nations is about to take place and players involved will leave here at the start of January," wrote Moyes in his programme column in Red & White today.
"When you sign players from Africa you know that the African Cup of Nations ois part of the equation.
"However, I still find it hard to accept that players get taken out of their club sides during the season.
"How the various countries fare will determine when our players return but in the meantime it is an opportunity for other players in the squad to make their mark."
Nigeria do have friendlies - Anichebe is reputed to be included in the squad - but Moyes will hope the powerful striker will not travel to Africa for them.