African All Stars

Who were Africa's revelations of the season?

08:00 EAT 14/06/2021
Iheanacho Silas Simy
Goal review Africa’s outstanding breakout stars from the 2020-21 season

  • Yves Bissouma - Brighton and Hove Albion

    #7 Yves Bissouma

    It’s been a considerable season of growth for Bissouma, who’s now being linked with some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs.

    He’s been an on-field leader and midfield general for Brighton & Hove Albion this term, helping them stave off the threat of relegation with some commanding showings in the heart of the park.

    Eminently watch-able, Arsenal and Manchester United are both understood to be monitoring his situation, while he could also be a potential Georginio Wijnaldum replacement at Liverpool.

  • Mbala Nzola Spezia

    #6 M’Bala Nzola

    Nzola netted 11 goals for newly promoted Spezia, helping them steer well clear of the dropzone in Serie A and avoid relegation concerns for the majority of the campaign.

    He was tipped for a move to West Ham United during the January transfer window—evidence of how his fine form has caught the eye of bigger clubs—but reportedly opted to remain in Italy…for now at least.

    Expect some of Europe’s bigger dogs to come calling for the 24-year-old Angolan frontman, while the Hammers are expected to resurrect their interest in the attacker.

  • Michael Olise - Reading

    #5 Michael Olise

    Olise has surely proved this season that he’s destined for the top of the game.

    He is elegant, composed, and is a genuine difference-maker in the final third, having had a hand in 19 goals this season. It’s an impressive tally, particularly for a midtable side.

    As well as England and France, he’s also eligible for Nigeria and Algeria.

  • Kelechi Iheanacho of Leicester City

    #4 Kelechi Iheanacho

    An FA Cup winner with Leicester City, Iheanacho was influential as the Foxes reached the final, demonstrating qualities that many had probably given up hope of finding within him.

    The final itself at Wembley Stadium may have passed him by, but during the run-up to the final he made decisive contributions against Manchester United (a brace) and Southampton (the winner), becoming the all-time top African scorer in the competition in the process.

    In the league, he bagged a career-high 12 goals—finally realising the potential he showed as a youngster—but it ultimately wasn’t enough to send the Foxes into the Champions League.

  • Silas Wamangituka Stuttgart 2019-20

    #3 Silas Katompa Mvumpa

    The forward’s season has ended in acrimony, with Silas banned for unsporting behaviour after it was revealed that he had been playing under a false identity and with a false age.

    However, considering the obstacles and hurdles faced by African players on their rise to the top, many will have sympathy with his story of manipulation.

    On the field, it was a brilliant maiden season in a top flight division as he netted 11 goals for Stuttgart.

    Only ten players netted more than him in the Bundesliga this season, and the entertainer appeared to be a natured fit for such rarefied climes.

    The highlight was his double against Werder Bremen in December—where he was booked for taunting the opposition goalkeeper—while his stunning effort against Mainz in January was also evidence of his talent.

    Unfortunately, Silas’s campaign was cut short due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury, while he has also been handed a three-month ban.

  • Wesley Fofana Leicester City

    #2 Wesley Fofana

    What a season it’s been for Fofana, who arrived in English football and swiftly excelled alongside the likes of Caglar Soyuncu and Jonny Evans in the Leicester backline.

    He was part of the FA Cup-winning team—showcasing his qualities against Chelsea in the final—and it could have been a different story for the Foxes on the final day of the season as Fofana was withdrawn with injury with the match against Spurs still in the balance.

    Eligible for Mali, he was unable to participate in this summer’s U-21 European Championships with France after tearing his hamstring in the last game of the season.

    One of the finest centre-backs in the Prem this term, despite having made only 20 senior top flight appearances (all with Saint-Etienne) before this season.

  • Nwankwo Simy Crotone

    #1 Simy Nwankwo

    Simy enjoyed a remarkable goalscoring record in the top flight this season.

    Despite playing for relegation certs Crotone—who ended the season in 19th place—Simy still registered 20 goals, putting him joint fifth in the overall scoring charts.

    He broke the record for goals scored by a Nigerian player in a single season in a major European league, and eclipsed Obafemi Martins as the Super Eagles’ all-time top scorer in the Italian top flight.

    What does the future hold for the towering frontman following his superb season?