The three English Premier League players were joined by 2010 winner Samuel Eto’o and Ghanaian internationals Andre Ayew, Asamoah Gyan and Kevin-Prince Boateng on a list announced by the Confederation of African Football.
Moroccan forward Adel Taarabt, Senegal striker Moussa Souw and Mali midfielder Seydou Keita were also nominated.
The winner will be decided by a vote of Africa’s national team coaches and announced at a 22 December ceremony in Accra, Ghana.
Botswana striker Jerome Ramatlhakwane headed a list of 10 players in contention for the best footballer based in Africa after he was the top scorer in African Cup of Nations qualifying to lead his country to next year’s tournament for the first time.
Samir Aboud, Libya’s 39-year-old goalkeeper, is also in the running after the North Africans defied political upheaval at home to reach Africa’s top tournament.