AFRICANS TO WATCH IN THE 2020/2021 PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON
The Community Shield encounter between 2019/2020 Premier League winners, Liverpool and 2019/2020 FA Cup winners, Arsenal signifies the start of the 2020/2021 season in England as its the custom.
Africa’s best players all find themselves playing for the biggest clubs in the Premier League from Chelsea, Liverpool, to Arsenal & Leicester City.
Going into the new season, we highlight the African Footballers to look out for:
10. Wilfried Zaha
One of the most experienced African players on this list, the Ivorian has raked in 215 Premier League appearances to his name, scoring 36 goals and providing 24 assists.
His experience also includes a spell at Manchester United.
Zaha can play on either flank and on a good day, the Ivorian is a handful for any defender.
He has created 36 big chances in the Premier League and made a total of 537 crosses.
9. Alex Iwobi
Alex Iwobi stands as a player to watch out for and, at the same time, one that had a lot to prove.
His move from Arsenal to Everton has not helped him much as expected, and the arrivals of James Rodriguez, Allan, and Doucoure will further limit his playing chances for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
His Premier League experience could be advantageous and resourceful for the Toffees, having made 125 appearances in the Premier League, scoring 12 goals and providing 16 assists.
8. Jordan Ayew
Crystal Palace’s player of the 2019/2020 season.
The honor was primarily due to the efforts of Ayew that Crystal Palace avoided relegation.
He had a hand in close to a third of their Premier League goals. The Ghanian striker is also a big game player, finding the net against the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester City and the likes.
Ayew has made a total of 127 appearances in the Premier League, scoring 25 goals and providing 9 assists.
7. Hakim Ziyech
One of Chelsea’s latest signings much is already expected of the Moroccan winger, and that can be attributed to his heroics for Ajax.
Ziyech was the main attraction for the Ajax side that, against all the odds, reached the semi-finals of the 2018/2019 Champions League campaign.
He can play as a ’10’- the classic playmaker role and as a winger on either flank.
His combination with Werner, Mount, Pulisic, and Havertz will most likely lead Chelsea to the Premier League title in the books of many pundits.
6. Nicolas Pepe
Arsenal’s 72 million pounds signing ahead of the 2019/2020 season had to work his way into the hearts of Arsenal fans.
The Ivorian winger is a game-changer and holds the key to Arsenal’s creativity ahead of the new season.
He put in a man of the match performance in Arsenal’s FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City and in the final against Chelsea.
In 31 Premier League matches, he has scored five goals and provided six assists. He has created eight big chances and has put in over 100 crosses since joining Arsenal from French club Lille.
5. Riyad Mahrez
On a good day, the Algerian playmaker would easily have been in the top three on this list.
However, a plethora of attacking options at Manchester City has seen Pep Guardiola regulate Mahrez’s playing time. However, that has not stopped the silky Algerian playmaker from giving great performances in the Premier League, and he is undoubtedly one player to watch out for as the new season resumes.
Given that David Silva has left Manchester City for Real Sociedad, and with Pep not trusting Bernado Silva enough, Mahrez is expected to get more playing time in the 2020/2021 Premier League season.
The 29 years old midfielder cum winger has made 199 appearances in the Premier League, scoring 57 goals and providing 40 assists in total.
4. Wilfred Ndidi
Easily recognized as the best defensive midfielder in the Premier League, Ndidi stands as Leicester City’s major hopes of returning to champions league football.
Ndidi is the best ball winner in the Premier League and an assured player protecting the back 4.
Ndidi has a tackle success rate of 62% in the Premier League; he has blocked a total of 42 shots and made 249 interceptions and 291 clearances, with 142 of those clearances headed.
He has also made a total of 1008 recoveries, winning over a thousand duels as well, and has only made one error leading to a goal since joining Leicester City. He has been a more than adequate replacement for Ngolo Kante.
3. Sadio Mane
Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah are the primary reason why many pundits are backing Liverpool retain the League title.
The duo of Salah and Mane have proven to be the best in European football for years. They are both pacy, with a good eye for goals.
For many pundits, it was Mane who was the main man for Liverpool last season, and little wonder he was included in the team of the year alongside being a nominee for a player of the season.
Mane contributed 18 goals and seven assists in 35 matches during the 2019/2020 season, and that is more than impressive for a winger.
Mane has scored 84 goals and provided 29 assists in 194 Premier League appearances.
2. Mohammed Salah
Not getting included in the 2019/2020 Premier League of the season will surely be a big motivation to up his performances once for Liverpool going into the new season.
It’s not like Salah has not been great for Liverpool, he contributed 19 goals and 10 assists to their historic league triumph and its unexplainable as to why the Egyptians were excluded in the team of the year.
Salah has been a two-time Premier League golden boot award winner, emerging as top scorer in the 2017/2018 season with a record-breaking 32 goals and in the 2018/2019 season with 22 goals.
In 121 Premier League appearances, Salah has scored 75 goals and provided 29 assists.
0.62 goals per match.
He is Jurgen Klopp’s go-to man, he alongside Sadio Mane make Liverpool’s attack tick.
1. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Arsenal’s hopes of making the top four lies largely on Aubameyang.
The Gabonese goalscorer has been a prolific hit man since joining the Gunners, scoring 54 goals in the Premier League.
With 22 goals, he was the top scorer in the 2018/2019 Premier League season, and another 22 goals in the 2019/2020 season saw him finish just behind Jamie Vardy in the golden boot race.
Aubameyang has made 85 appearances in the Premier League, scoring 54 goals and providing 12 assists, averaging 0.64 goals per match.