With the transfer window officially open, Goal will focus on some of Africa’s biggest names and explore what they should be hoping for—and what we should expect—over the coming months.
Here, we look at Ahmed Musa, who moved to Leicester City for a then club record £16 million transfer fee, but has had precious few highlights in the intervening months.
The story of last season
There was excitement when Leicester signed Musa from CSKA Moscow last season, with the hefty fee offset by the hope that Musa would offer Champions League experience and a goal threat.
His pre-season performances against Barcelona in the International Champions Cup and Manchester United in the Charity Shield suggested that he’d be a smart signing, but Musa ended the campaign with just two Premier League goals.
There are mitigating circumstances of course; the fact that Jamie Vardy stayed at the club means that Musa, ostensibly bought as a replacement for the then Arsenal target, struggled to find his place.
He ended the season with just seven EPL starts, playing 755 minutes in the league across 21 appearances, and could argue that he never truly got his chance to shine.
Similarly, it was a troubled season for Leicester. The reigning champions parted ways with Claudio Ranieri in February, and the shifting landscape at the King Power Stadium made it hard for Musa—as well as fellow new boys Islam Slimani and Nampalys Mendy—to truly thrive.
What could happen this window?
Southampton, Everton and West Ham United were all reported to have been interested in the Nigeria international last summer, before his move to Leicester, but he’s been linked to a different calibre of club this year after his struggles over the last 12 months.
As yet, the Foxes haven’t moved to bolster their own attacking options, but they’ve been linked to Coventry’s George Thomas and Gregoire Defrel of Sassuolo, and Musa will know that any new additions would further push him down the pecking order.
Last month, Musa was linked with a move to Super Lig giants Fenerbahce according to reports in Turkey, although the lack of movement on the story suggests that San Kanaryalar are yet to force the issue even though Musa might be keen on the move.
Elsewhere, Brighton and Hove Albion and West Bromwich Albion have also been linked to his signature. A loan move to either side might be beneficial for the West African.
What to expect next season
There’s no doubt that Musa’s future is uncertain, and it’s not yet clear whether he is considered an asset by new Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare.
Ranieri’s replacement was reticent to use Musa after taking over last season—he played just 55 minutes since the end of February—but reports in the local press have suggested that the Foxes aren’t pressed to offload the forward.
They won’t be competing on as many fronts next season, so opportunities may be limited, however, if Shakespeare continues the progress of the last few months and can get the most out of some of last term’s underperformers, Musa could prosper for playing in a successful side rather than a struggling one.
Should Everton or Atletico Madrid move for Jamie Vardy, then Musa could be offered a more prominent role at the club, while Arsenal and Chelsea continue to be linked to Riyad Mahrez.