African Players Who Could Be Set to Move This Summer
This exciting summer transfer window has already seen a number of major deals including African players. This article looks forward to five more superstars who may make a move in the coming months.
Not all of these players are coming off the back of successful seasons, but all five have the capacity to influence the top end of competition wherever they may roam.
This list also reflects the nature of transfers that have already been concluded since the window opened. There are experienced players such as Kolo Toure, who are heading toward a final stop-off in illustrious careers, and exciting prospects such as Jores Okore who are primed to step up a level.
This list includes and considers all players of African origin, not simply those who represent one of the continent’s national sides.
Perhaps this could have all been foreseen…perhaps we all should have predicted exactly how sharp Adebayor’s decline would have been once that permanent contract at Tottenham was secured.
It is perhaps no coincidence that the Togolese frontman pulled out all of the stops two seasons ago, when on loan, in order to secure a big-money switch to White Hart Lane.
The cynic in me can’t help but question why the striker performed so exceptionally in those final few games of the season. Was his mind looking forward to the inevitable “End of Season Review” with Messrs Villas-Boas and Levy?
If Tottenham’s options upfront weren’t stretched so painfully I imagine the club would be desperate to cut him loose. As it stands, Besiktas have expressed an interest in the forward, with certain outlets reporting that a deal is close to completion.
Major questions have to be asked about the Turkish club’s scouting network however, particularly considering the Togolese’s recent form.
Their loss may well be Tottenham’s gain.
Despite the odd flourish, Gervinho’s two years at Arsenal have been remarkably muted. No one can deny the winger’s pace and trickery, but his nous and—particularly—his finishing have too often been below par.
9 goals in 45 appearances is simply not good enough.
With Arsenal clearing the decks of some of the dead wood this summer, Gervinho’s under-achievement has come in for scrutiny.
Despite attempts at the club to quash the rumours, Lyon have regularly been linked with the player. A return to France might suit the Ivorian although would a swap deal for perennially off-colour Yoann Gourcuff really benefit Arsenal?
With Gervinho’s confidence looking decidedly ropey over the last year, the Gunners might be wise to take the money and run.
While Barcelona are holding off from selling Cesc Fabregas, I imagine they would be far less reticent to cut their losses on their other former Arsenal star.
It’s been a difficult year for Alex Song, for whom things haven’t quite worked out in Catalonia.
He has found himself perennially on the peripheries of the first team and has allegedly been ill-at-ease with his teammates. One particular confrontation with Gerard Pique was an especially public expression of discontent.
The Cameroonian midfielder may be keen to try and improve his fortunes in Spain, but Arsenal have been linked with their erstwhile star.
A more intriguing prospect however might be a switch to their North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, although the recent acquisition of Paulinho has probably given the Lilywhites ample midfield options.
With Barcelona having already lost Thiago Alcantara to Bayern Munich, it is an outside bet that they would cash in on Song and further reduce their personnel in this position—stranger things have happened though.
If Manchester United fail to acquire another midfielder to bolster the team alongside Michael Carrick and if Arsene Wenger’s sustained search for an imposing figure to accompany, and now replace, Alex Song fails to turn up any solutions, don’t be surprised to see their attentions turn to Marouane Fellaini.
The Belgian-Moroccan midfielder has been a resounding success since arriving at Everton in 2008. While he initially excelled in a more reserved, destructive role, last season he performed terrifically in a more advanced position.
Imitating Yaya Toure over at Manchester City, the towering international impressed as a roving attacking midfielder. As a support for a lone forward, a battering ram against obdurate defenders and a platform for offense, Fellaini can be a major asset.
He already looks to have the class to fit seamlessly into the side at either United or the Gunners, just don’t expect him to come cheap.
Bruma’s name has been bandied around this summer, predominantly in connection with his dazzling performances in the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The Portuguese winger was one of the stars of the show. He scored five goals and received the silver shoe, particularly impressive as the Selecao das Quinas didn’t trouble the latter stages of the competition.
The player has been one of the revelations of 2013, breaking into the Sporting first team and impressing fans and critics alike with his twinkled toes and terrific pace. The club have a great tradition for producing elite wingers and will be hoping that Bruma can continue the tradition.
Born in the former Portuguese colony Guinea-Bissau, the West Africans will be hoping that they can coax the wonderkid away from going on to represent his new, chosen nation at senior level.
While it may be wiser for him to continue his apprenticeship in Lisbon, Bruma has announced his preference for a move abroad. With him looking unlikely to renew his contract with the Lions, Chelsea have been circling—don’t be surprised to see the young West African move to London in the near future.