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Football can be difficult in Africa, says Aiyegbeni

10:29 GMT 20/02/2017
Yakubu Reading
The former Everton striker gave an insight on the unpalatable state of the game in the continent and how it affects professionals abroad

Coventry City forward Yakubu Aiyegbeni has highlighted factors that make playing in Africa difficult.

The former Super Eagles forward while speaking on the importance of Senegalese Idrissa Gueye to his former side, Everton, the 'Yak' explained why playing on the continent was always not palatable.

“It can be difficult in Africa - a lot of the pitches aren’t great which makes it tough,” Aiyegbeni told Everton’s official website. 

“I found it took two or three weeks to get back up to full speed after returning, which I think is the case for a lot of players.”

Gueye played a key role in the Teranga Lions’ march to the quarterfinals at the just concluded Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon. And the Nigeria international has hailed the combative midfielder as Ronald Koeman’s ‘signing of the season’.

 “It is quite difficult to come back from an Africa Cup of Nations in the middle of the season,” he added.

“It’s a different kind of football and you have to change your mentality for the tournament. 

“[Gueye] is pleasing to see and, for me, he is the signing of the season. He has everything - energy, pace and he supports the team at both ends of the pitch. 

“The supporters have taken to him and I’m sure they will enjoy him even more and more as time goes on. I think next season he will be even better.”