Despite being one of the finest centre-backs in the world game, Koulibaly has missed out on making the Goal 50, and is arguably the best African player not to make the cut
The towering defender has maintained his consistency for Napoli, helping them finish ‘best of the rest’ behind Juventus in Serie A last term, while he also excelled for Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations as the Teranga Lions reached the final.
Koulibaly continues to be linked with the Premier League, and a move to Manchester United, in particular.
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Had Pepe maintained the form he demonstrated last season at LOSC Lille, where he ended the season with 22 goals and 11 assists, then the wideman may well have been the fourth African player to have made the Goal 50.
However, since moving to Arsenal in a £72 million summer switch, Pepe has appeared to struggle to adapt to life in the top flight.
In 11 Premier League outings so far this term, Pepe has managed just one goal and two assists, and while there have been glimpses of his genius, the winger is falling short of expectations at the time of the Goal 50 going to print.
Wilfred Ndidi & Idrissa Gueye
Two of Africa’s excellent central midfielders—Ndidi and Gueye—have both been overlooked for the Goal 50.
While Gueye was part of an Everton team that toiled at times last term, he impressed for Senegal during their run to the Afcon final, and subsequently secured a high-profile switch to Paris Saint-Germain.
Could he, or Ndidi, who remains one of the Prem’s most effective midfield destroyers, have muscled their way into the Goal 50?
Certainly, the Nigerian must be a contender for 12 months’ time; he’s a key figure of this exciting Leicester City side, the lynchpin of Brendan Rodgers’ team, and ranks among the top players for tackles-per-match in the top flight.
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Mahrez can look back on the most trophy-laden season of his career, in which he won a domestic quadruple with Manchester City, and clinched the Nations Cup with Algeria.
On occasion, for City, he demonstrated his scintillating quality, and while most of his major contributions were limited to cup competitions, he scored a memorable goal as the league was clinched against Brighton & Hove Albion, and also featured in the FA Cup final rout of Watford.
Still, Mahrez managed only 14 league starts last term, has featured just eight times for City in the top flight this campaign, and clearly isn’t involved enough to be rivalling the world’s finest players.
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One of two Moroccan players who could have made the cut, Hakimi has excelled over the last 12 months, establishing himself as one of the world’s most exciting full-backs.
The youngster followed up on a Champions League victory with Real Madrid and a fine World Cup showing with Morocco to establish himself on loan at Borussia Dortmund, playing an influential role as BVB mounted a title challenge.
This season, he’s returned from injury to again impress—both offensively and defensively—down both of Dortmund’s flanks, netting four of the giants’ five UCL goals to date.
He’s missed out in 2019, but don’t be surprised if Hakimi returns to contention in 2020.