Top 10 African Footballers

#10 Victor Osimhen

LOSC Lille turned to Nigeria’s Osimhen after selling Nicolas Pepe to Arsenal for £72 million in the summer, but even they couldn’t have imagined the Nigerian’s impact.

He made the step up from Belgian football seamlessly, and currently has 13 league goals, spread consistently throughout the campaign.

Osimhen also netted twice for Lille in the Champions League, and has established himself as the Super Eagles’ leading striker following the retirement of Odion Ighalo

#9 Jeremie Boga

One of the breakout stars of the season, 23-year-old Boga is enjoying his finest campaign to date, having scored eight goals and contributed a further two assists for Sassuolo.

His form has reminded observers why he was such a coveted asset when he joined the Chelsea academy in 2009, and his former employers are reportedly keen on bringing him back to Stamford Bridge.

Tottenham Hotspur are also understood to be keen on the Ivory Coast international.

#8 Idrissa Gueye

Gueye got his dream move to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, and having impressed with Senegal during the Africa Cup of Nations, he’s continued with his excellent form at the French champions.

The defensive midfielder is on course for a first major honour of his career this term, with PSG, and he’s justified the outlay in forming an excellent midfield partnership with Marco Verratti.

Perhaps Gana’s performance in the Champions League first leg against Borussia Dortmund belied his lack of experience at this level, but he responded in style as the French giants secured passage to the quarter-finals.

#7 Wilfred Ndidi

Just edging ahead of Gueye as the finest African defensive midfielder—and best non-attacker—in the world today, Ndidi has been a lynchpin of Leicester City’s excellent campaign.

While the Foxes have generated headlines for their attacking qualities and the fluidity of their forward play, Ndidi has been the anchor at the base of the midfield, retrieving the ball, recycling possession, and keeping the East Midlanders ticking over.

When the transfer window does open, expect Ndidi to be at the centre of a swirl of rumours linking him to the Prem big boys.

#6 Christopher Nkunku

One of several African stars of RasenBallsport Leipzig’s title challenge, Nkunku is enjoying a breakout campaign this term after making the move from PSG in the summer.

France U-21 international, and eligible for the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nkunku has 12 assists and a further four goals this term, and has been a key figure in Leipzig’s run to the Champions League quarter-finals.

The 22-year-old also set the record for the most assists within a 30-minute period when he set up four goals in the 5-0 demolition of Schalke 04, and PSG may well come to regret letting him go.

#5 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

In another tricky campaign for Arsenal, Aubameyang has again demonstrated his consistency in front of goal with a 1i7-goal haul.

By the time the season reached its premature conclusion, he’s on course to match his 22-goal Golden Boot-winning tally of last term, and has extended his nine-season run of scoring double figures in each campaign across FranceGermany and England.

The Gabon international remains linked to the exit door, but it’s hard to see how the Gunners can replace his goal threat.

4 Riyad Mahrez

Just missing out on the top three is Mahrez, who’s already added to last season’s trophy haul with a League Cup victory already this term.

City have seen Liverpool eclipse them in the title race, but the Algerian can hardly be criticised for the club’s decline, having had a hand in 15 goals—seven strikes and eight assists.

He’s already made more league starts in the league this term than he managed last season, while the 29-year-old has also been exceptional in the Champions League, and may yet end up with a winner’s medal—one of the few he hasn’t yet won!

#3 Achraf Hakimi

Creeping into our top three, Hakimi has gone from strength to strength this term, building on his magnificent campaign last season.

His 10 assists puts him joint fourth in the Bundesliga, while he’s also chipped in with three goals in the league, not to mention a further four in the Champions League group stage.

It’s not all about the goals though, Hakimi continues to mature defensively, and at the time of the league postponement, he’s proved influential as Dortmund remain four points behind Bayern Munich in the title race.

#2 Mohamed Salah

Salah continues to achieve a measure of excellence in the Premier League that few other players can match.

He’s been influential yet again as Liverpool have mounted a remarkable title charge, and it would be a major injustice if he and the Reds were denied a first championship in 30 years.

To date, Salah has 16 goals and six assists this term, and the records have continued to fall in another excellent campaign at Anfield.

#1 Sadio Mane

Crowned the African Footballer of the Year in January, Mane was entirely deserving of this award, and has continued to demonstrate in subsequent months why he deserves to be considered the finest African player on the planet.

Perhaps only Virgil van Dijk has been more pivotal to Liverpool’s (almost) title-winning season than Mane, whose netted 14 goals and contributed seven assists.

Yet again, the forward has come good in the big games, with two assists and a goal in the memorable 5-2 demolition of Everton, and the decisive assist in the Club World Championship final against Flamengo.


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