We are reaching the end of this season and, inevitably, teams around Europe and worldwide are preparing themselves for the summer transfer window. The focus for many will be on exciting prospects and young talents from around the globe. Here is a list of 13 talented African footballers who are going to be high on […]
We are reaching the end of this season and, inevitably, teams around Europe and worldwide are preparing themselves for the summer transfer window. The focus for many will be on exciting prospects and young talents from around the globe.
Here is a list of 13 talented African footballers who are going to be high on the list of transfer priorities for clubs this summer…
Jean Michaël Seri (OGC Nice)
OGC Nice succeeding in finishing 3rd in France for the first time since 1976 after beating Nancy 3-1 at home with Jean Michael Seri scoring two goals. The Ivorian midfielder is joint second in the Ligue 1 assists charts this season with nine, behind only Morgan Sanson. He also scored 6 goals to help his team secure Champions League football after a long fight for the title.
His amazing performances during the season have made several big European teams take notice. Leicester City, Southampton and Everton are linked, though the player has told Nice Matin that he is not interested in leaving Les Aiglons this summer.
Will the man named the best African player in France 2017 be convinced to move to the Premier League or stay in Nice for Champions League football?
Linked with: Leicester City, Southampton, Everton
Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa)
The Ivorian talent has sparkled this season with Aston Villa and is being followed by Premier League giants. Jonathan Kodjia scored 19 goals in 40 games this season, totalling 40% of Aston Villa’s goals in the Championship.
With Villa finishing 13th the lethal finisher may think about leaving the club, with interest from Everton and Stoke City that could seduce him. However, Steve Bruce is keen on keeping his striker at Villa while Aston Villa’s chief executive has said it would take ‘a ridiculous bid’ to sign him.
Linked with: Stoke City, Everton
Naby Keita (RB Leipzig)
RB Leipzig have enjoyed the best season in their history this year, guaranteeing a spot in the Champions League next season after a second place finish that came in no small way thanks to Guinean star Naby Keita.
Reports in Germany suggest that Liverpool and Arsenal lead the race to sign Keita, though the German side won’t let go of their key player that easilyy. The CAF Most Promising Talent nominee has contributed to 16 goals in 31 games this season, scoring 8 and providing 8 assists.
Linked with: Liverpool, Arsenal
Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City)
A lack of game time and the signing of Gabriel Jesus have pushed Manchester City‘s Nigerian star striker Kelechi Iheanacho down the pecking order. A shame, given his excellent goals to games ratio for the club, but given his undoubted talent plenty of clubs are circling.
A £20 million bid could be enough to tempt Pep Guardiola to sell, according to various sources, with clubs in Germany and the Premier League showing interest.
Linked with: West Ham United, Bournemouth, 1899 Hoffenheim, Borussia Dortmund
Mohamed Hany (Al Ahly)
The 21-year-old Egyptian full-back is attracting interest from many European clubs and is likely to move to a top league next season. Any move would emphasise the success of Al-Ahly’s youth sector as Hany would succeed the likes of Ramadan Sobhi and Trezeguet in moving to Europe. The right-back’s attacking contribution and technical skills have helped him win two caps for his country, attracting the attention of scouts in the process.
Linked with: FC Basel, Boavista, Benfica
Keita Balde Diao (Lazio)
Scoring two goals in the Derby della Capitale and fastest Serie A hat-trick in 42 years not a cushy job for a 22-year-old winger. The Senegalese winger is being chased by Europe giants with AC Milan considering him as a primary target for the summer.
The Rossoneri face competition from Roma, Juventus and Chelsea. Keita is #JF60 alumni, chosen by Just Football as among the 60 best players in Europe in 2015. He didn’t have a great season back then, but his ability to play in multiple attacking roles has helped him shine this season thanks to Simone Inzaghi. He’s hit 15 goals and six assists to help Lazio into the top four in Serie A with two games remaining.
Linked with: AC Milan, Roma, Juventus, Chelsea
Phakamani Mahlambi (Bidvest Wits FC)
The 19-year-old forward has made his presence known in the ABSA Premiership, South Africa’s top tier, prompting European teams to try to secure this young talent’s services. Last year he reportedly had offers from the Turkish and German leagues before sustaining an injury that took him out of the field for a while.
This season he has scored six goals and provided seven assists in only 13 league games. Though he has signed a long-term contract keeping him with The Students until June 2021, the club could face problems trying to keep their young star from going to Europe.
Linked with: Bursaspor, Mainz, Eintracht Frankfurt
Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan (RSC Anderlecht)
The Egyptian winger is currently well known after his performances in the Belgian league and also for the Egyptian national team. He will be returning to Anderlecht at the end of the season after a successful loan spell at Mouscron scoring four goals. Rumours link him to some big clubs like Liverpool, so if Anderlecht can’t guarantee the Egyptian star a first team chance he may think about leaving this summer.
Linked with: Liverpool
Oghenekaro Etebo (CD Feirense)
Considered a box-to-box midfielder, Oghenekaro Etebo is also a goalscorer, which make him an ideal prospect for any team. Because of his pace and attacking skills he has played as a full-back and winger at Feirense.
The CAF Most Promising Talent of the Year 2015 has been followed by Premier League clubs for more than a year. His ability to play different roles in midfield with attacking and defensive characteristics made the press compare him with Paul Pogba and many clubs are following this young talent.
Linked with: RC Lens, Newcastle United, Leicester City
Franck Kessie (Atalanta)
Gian Piero Gasperini is making a revolution in the Italian football this season, taking the Goddess to European football next season. The bad side of the story is that he might lose some of his talented players in the summer.
Franck Kessie is the first name on the list of players leaving Atalanta next season with AC Milan is the most projected target. It was reported that there is an agreement between the player and the Rossoneri, however there must be an agreement between both clubs too as Milan are facing a battle from Rome and Premier League sides. Several reports suggest such an agreement is close, if not done.
— Serie A News (@TransfersCalcio) May 17, 2017
Linked with: AC Milan, Roma, Chelsea
Samuel Chukwueze (Diamond Football Academy)
Samuel Chukwueze was on the verge of joining Arsenal last summer but agreement couldn’t be reached. The talented African youngster was also reportedly targeted by Porto. Reports state that the winger, who won the Under-17 World Cup with Nigeria in 2015, will join Villarreal this summer after spending a trial period with the Yellow Submarines.
Linked with: Villarreal, Arsenal, FC Porto
Mohamed Salah (AS Roma)
Considered as one of the fastest players in the world, Mohamed Salah is having his best professional season with 17 goals and 15 assists for AS Roma in 39 appearances and two goals for Egypt at the African Cup of Nations 2017.
Still only 24, Picasso, as he liked to be called in Egypt, is considering a summer move after failure to win a title with Roma this season. Inter Milan have made the winger their highest priority and are keen to convince him to join them next season.
Linked with: Inter Milan, Liverpool
Kelechi Nwakali (Arsenal)
Arsenal loanee Kelechi Nwakali is considered a future star. After winning the Golden Ball award at the 2015 U-17 Fifa World Cup, leading his country to the title, Nwakali grabbed the interest of many teams before joining Arsenal. He is currently on loan at Eerste Divisie side MVV Maastricht.
After his return to north London at the end of the season he will have to prove his worth in pre-season or face being moved out again. A permanent transfer is not going to happen but a loan move gives a chance for several teams around Europe to sign the promising winger.
Arsenal loanee Kelechi Nwakali netted his third goal of the season for MVV Maastricht on Wednesday night pic.twitter.com/splNrOGaNw
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) May 19, 2017
Linked with: Ajax, Anderlecht
Words: Ali El Damaty | Main image credit: Elton Harding via Flickr.