Hudson-Odoi, Nicolas Pepe: Which African Premier League players desperately need a transfer this window?

Callum Hudson-Odoi Chelsea 2021-22Getty

The return of the Premier League means excitement for top flight players up and down the country…but not everyone will be enthused by the return of action.

For others, unwanted or underused by their current employers, the days are ticking down before they can secure the move they need to reignite their career.

Here are six African stars who surely need a change of scene before the window closes.

  • Japhet Tangangagetty

    Japhet Tanganga

    He once appeared set to become the bedrock of the Tottenham Hotspur backline, but injuries, competition and Spurs’ changing fortunes appear to have dimmed Tanganga’s prospects.

    Despite Antonio Conte’s use of a back three, the arrival of Clement Lenglet represents considerable competition for the Anglo-Congolese defender, who appears to be sixth in the pecking order for a central berth.

    There are rumours of interest from Italy, with AC Milan monitoring Tanganga’s availability.

  • Nicolas Pepe Arsenal 2021-22Getty

    Nicolas Pepe

    A phenomenon during his final season in Ligue 1 with LOSC Lille, but we’ve seen precious little of *that* Pepe in the Premier League.

    He appeared to regress under Mikel Arteta last term—a worrying sign for a player who ought to be entering his peak—and it’s surely better for the wideman if he attempts to rediscover his previous form elsewhere.

    Could ambitious Newcastle United be tempted to take him off Arsenal’s hands?

  • Bertrand Traore Aston VillaGetty Images

    Bertrand Traore

    Quite how Traore was nominated for the Caf African Footballer of the Year award despite a thoroughly disastrous year at Aston Villa is utterly baffling.

    The forward started just one league game last term, and was on the field for just one victory—with club and country—all year, a dreadful return for the 26-year-old.

    Injuries doubtless played their part, but the attacker appears not to have Steven Gerrard’s trust, with the Liverpool legend reportedly cutting Traore from his first team group during pre-season.

  • Eric Bailly Darwin Nunez Manchester United Liverpool 2022-23Getty

    Eric Bailly

    Any hopes Bailly had of making his mark under Erik ten Hag look to have been extinguished by the signing of Lisandro Martinez for a whopping €57.37 million.

    With Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane all ahead of Bailly in the pecking order, and now extra competition in Martinez—and Phil Jones still knocking around—the Ivorian has his work cut out to get on the field this season.

    The centre-back is being linked with the likes of Sevilla and AS Roma, and it would probably be better for all parties if the injury-prone Bailly could seek pastures new.

  • Jean-Philippe Gbamin - Everton

    Jean-Philippe Gbamin

    Gbamin has endured a disastrous spell at Everton over the last three years, with a serious injury sustained upon his arrival at the club essentially shattering his career.

    The arrival of Allan two years ago, and now Frank Lampard’s pursuit of ex-Toffee Idrissa Gueye make it hard to see a route into the first team for Gbamin, who has completed just two matches since arriving at Goodison Park.

    Still only 26, he may never be the player he was once destined to become, but a change of scene could at least help the Ivory Coast international to get back on track.

  • Callum Hudson-Odoi Jonathan Dos Santos Chelsea América Amistoso 2022Getty

    Callum Hudson-Odoi

    When Hudson-Odoi first stepped into the Chelsea team during the 2017-18 season, big things were expected.

    In subsequent years, big things were expected, but Hudson-Odoi has never truly established himself as a key member of the starting XI.

    Last season, he managed 11 starts for Chelsea—the most games he’s started in a single campaign—but he’s hardly a key man for Thomas Tuchel, and is yet to score more than two goals in a single league season.

    Is Hudson-Odoi all hype, or is there genuinely an excellent player in there?

    Could a move to Newcastle United help the Ghanaian prove that he can be a genuine difference-maker in the top flight?