Stars abroad: African players shone brightest in major leagues this past week

Stars abroad: African players shone brightest in major leagues this past week

The past week was a bag of mixed fortunes for African players plying their trade abroad; while others soared high, there were some who had nightmarish outings. 

A good number of them were lucky to end on the winning sides, while some put in brilliant performances despite the results going the other way. 


Alex Iwobi scored his second goal for Everton as they saw off Wolves 3-2 at home in a hugely entertaining clash. It was the Nigerian's second goal in a week for the Toffees, having scored in midweek during an EFL tie.

Aubameyang was once again on the scoresheet, pulling one back for the Gunners as they chased the game, which eventually ended in a 2-2 draw at home against Tottenham Hotspur.

His teammate Nicolas Pepe, after a promising start at Liverpool, did not quite live up to the expectations and was contained well by a disciplined Spurs backline. 

Across the City, Tammy Abraham, whom Nigeria are fighting to have in their Eagles team continued his red-hot form in front of goal once again, grabbing a brace just like the previous week away to Norwich.  He has picked up himself well and might soon be the number 9 that Chelsea have been yearning for. 

His teammate, Fikayo Tomori, who interestingly is being courted by Nigeria as well got his debut against Sheffield and put in an assured performance at the heart of the Blues defense. He didn't put a foot wrong through the match and played like a seasoned Premier League defender. Bright days ahead. 

Jordan Ayew, after his goal against United at Old Trafford, was out again, this time scoring the lone strike as Crystal Palace beat Aston Villa 1-0 to continue with their fine form. 

Jordan's teammate Wilfried Zaha had a decent match as well, and though he was not involved heavily, his quick feet led to Villa's red card incident, which made their work slightly less heavy. We give him a 7 out of 10.

In Spanish La Liga, the new kid on the block, Anssumane Fati, continued with his meteoric rise when he netted his first goal in a Barcelona shirt, becoming the club's youngest scorer ever. 

The Bissau-Guinean had already set the record of the club's second-youngest debutant the previous week, and his stakes clearly continued to rise. 

Ghanaian Thomas Partey was the hero as he helped his team complete a wonderful comeback with a 90th-minute winner in a 3-2 home victory over Eibar.

In Ligue 1, Cameroon captain Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting continued with his red-hot form in front of goal, this time netting the second goal in their match against Metz, having starred the previous week over Toulouse, where he scored a brace after coming on as a substitute. 

Still, in the same league, Islam Slimani seems to have been reborn in Monaco. He left Leicester after a disappointing stay and has picked life once again with his new side, scoring a brace as they drew 2-2 with Strasbourg. 


Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane's brilliance for Liverpool is enviable. They've combined to devastating effect in recent seasons, to the point of sharing the Golden Boot last season, well, of course, because they scored a similar number of goals. 

During the Burnley match, however, it was not all rosy for the two African brothers, as miscommunication or lack of it led to an unfamiliar scene between the two. 

Salah had the chance to square in a ball for Mane, who was better placed to find the back of the net, but he chose to go alone and the chance went begging. 

Mane was visibly angered by this, and could not hide it when he was replaced late on as he was caught on camera gesticulating to teammates and officials. 

Coach Jurgen Klopp, however, played down the incident and chose to pick positives out of. Considering it was the first time such happened, maybe it was just a one-off incident, and they luckily picked all the points. 

In Italy, it was a weekend to forget for Kalidou Koulibaly, who conceded a last-minute own goal as Napoli lost 4-3 away to defending champions Juventus. 

The Carlo Ancelloti-led side came from three goals down to level the scores, but, Koulibaly's mistake undid all the good work that had gone into the match. Sad day for Italy's Best defender of the previous season. 

Ismael Bennacer was perhaps the highlight of African in Italy as he impressed for AC Milan, same as Franck Kessie with his strong runs in midfield. Milan fans should be happy about this. 

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