It’s nearly here! The Africa Cup of Nations 2017 kicks off this weekend and it’s a tournament we love and have covered in detail in the past on Just Football. Ahead of this year’s edition in Gabon here are a selection of promising young African talents that have risen to prominence and could play an essential […]
#JF70 young talents of the week
Divock Origi has become a regular in the Liverpool XI in the last few weeks, since the injury to Philippe Coutinho, and it looks like that will continue until at least Boxing Day – when Coutinho has hinted he may return to the pitch for the Reds.
What 21-year-old Origi has done, however, is make it difficult for manager Jurgen Klopp to discard him in favour of teammate Daniel Sturridge. The Belgian has kept up his prolific form in front of goal and scored his fourth goal in as many games when Liverpool held West Ham to a 2-2 draw at Anfield. Then there was more. Origi made it five in five with yet another goal in Liverpool’s 3-0 win at the Riverside.
— Divock Origi #27 (@DivockOrigi) December 14, 2016
Origi has now scored five goals in all five games since coming on for Coutinho against Sunderland in November. Before then, he had scored just one goal. At a time Liverpool seem to be cooling off in their title chase, Origi’s form and goals could be really crucial for Klopp’s men in the Premier League.
After starting regularly earlier in the season, Alex Iwobi gradually lost his place in the last couple of weeks to teammates like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott. Arsenal fans, including manager Arsene Wenger – who also called for the youngster to add goals to his game – were growing frustrated with the inability of their 20-year-old gem to hit the back of the net.
Just lately though, it’s been raining goals for the Nigerian international, and he scored his first goals of the season. In the Champions League away in Switzerland against Basel, he played all 90 minutes. He scored Arsenal’s fourth as they thrashed their hosts 4-1 to top their Champions League draw (even though that didn’t mean much, with the inauspicious drawing of Bayern Munich).
Back in the Premier League, he was on the bench as the Gooners hosted Stoke City at the Emirates. But that didn’t stop him from making his mark. Iwobi replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain with 69 minutes on the clock, and within six minutes he was off the mark with his first Premier League goal of the season. The Nigerian took advantage of a loose ball in the Stoke defence, before slotting a low shot past Lee Grant to help Arsenal to a 3-1 win.
After almost a month without scoring for Porto, and a number of average performances, Andre Silva was back with a bang, putting up back to back Man of the Match performances for his side both in the Champions League and in the Primeira Liga.
In the Champions League against what was, to be fair, a weakened Leicester City side, Andre Silva scored a brace – the first, a header from a corner and the second, from the penalty spot – and assisted another goal to give Porto a 5-0 win.
— André Silva (@andrevsilva19) December 17, 2016
He continued in the league, when his side visited Estádio Marcolino de Castro to play second from bottom Feirense, by scoring another brace in Porto’s 4-0 win.
The Portuguese No 9 opened the scoring for The Dragons as early as the fourth minute from the penalty spot, before rounding up the scoring himself with a 66th minute strike.
Despite his drought, Andre Silva, now on nine league goals for the season, is just one away from the top of the Portuguese league scoring chart currently occupied by Moussa Marega of Vitória de Guimarães. He’s on loan from Porto.
Not your man for goals or assists – at least not like his above #JF70 mates – but Elseid Hysaj is ever reliable and consistent. The Albanian deservedly gets a look in this time around, for a good number of commendable performances.
The Albanian right back has been a regular feature for Napoli this season, starting 13 of their 16 Serie A games so far and making the right back position his for keeps.
He starred again at Sant’Elia as Napoli thumped their hosts Cagliari 5-0 in Serie A. The 22 year-old was solid in defence, attempting the most tackles, and winning a joint most as Napoli made it back to back Serie A clean sheets. Not the most celebrated player, but the sort of calming influence, and consistent performer every team craves.