Taiwo Awoniyi: The Nigerian achieved his dream of returning to the English Premier League with newly promoted Nottingham Forest after his earlier spell as a teenager at Liverpool failed to see him achieve the breakthrough he longed for. Now mentally tougher after a Bundesliga spell with Union Berlin, Awoniyi is expected to become the leading striker in the Super Eagles line-up.
Calvin Bassey: Despite growing up in London, the Nigerian fullback has had to take a detour in his career to try and play in the richest league in the world. He comes from a troubled neighborhood and says football was his way out, first making a breakthrough at Scotland’s Glasgow Rangers and now turning heads at Ajax Amsterdam, putting him on track to return to England.
Patson Daka: At club level, Daka is already playing among the best in the world in the Premier League, but now it is with the Zambia national team that he is ready to show his skill. Zambia is in desperate need of a revival and Daka is the man to lead them back to past glories as they will have qualification for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations final high on their agenda for 2023.
Ibrahima Koné: Mali’s towering centre-forward has already been compared to Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku, given his muscular build and power on the ball. He has played a prominent role in helping old-fashioned Lorient emerge as French league favorites this season and caught the eye of the biggest clubs.
Mohammed Kudus: The Ghanaian has overcome a serious injury to gain a foothold at Ajax Amsterdam, where this season he has successfully become a center forward on occasion and has scored in the Champions League. His versatility marks him for a transfer to one of Europe’s top five league clubs, as his Dutch team is famous for selling his most exciting players.
Reinildo: Mozambique is the country that produced African greats like Eusebio and Mario Coluna, but it’s been generations since they gave the game another superstar. Fullback Reinildo could be that man, as he won France’s Ligue 1 with Lille and is now chasing Champions League glory with Spain’s Atlético Madrid, who bought him out last season in an expensive move.
Ibrahim Sangaré: There is always a market for a powerful general midfielder, with an engine that never tires, running, attacking and playing the enforcer role in midfield and it is only a matter of time before the international hardman of Costa de Marfil moves from the Dutch club PSV Eindhoven to a club in England, Spain or Germany.
Edmond Tapsoba: The Burkinabe defender has one of the best figures in the German Bundesliga: pass, tackle and interception rate, but also fouls committed and a harsh reputation for indiscipline. But it’s his commitment that often sees him on the wrong end of the referee’s whistle, a trait that has, ironically, endeared him to Bayer Leverkusen fans.
Tarik Tissoudali: A terrible knee injury deprived the striker of the chance to lead Morocco’s attack at the World Cup in Qatar, but he is expected to recover in 2023 and continue his goalscoring form, both at club level in Belgium, as for his team. country. An opportunistic striker, he too hopes to be a transfer target at the end of the season.
Abakar Sylla: The Ivory Coast fullback made a big impact in the Champions League group stage from September to November when his outdated Belgian side Club Brugge won this year’s round of 16, dashing expectations with some surprising wins, and at the age of 19 she’s sure to be on her way to a much more glamorous destination come mid-year.