The European Champions League is in full swing. The second day of the competition was played on Wednesday 30 September. Several Africans are nevertheless playing as utilities.
The European Champions League has delivered the verdict on its second day of competition. Several African players have made their mark, including Sebastien Haller, Sadio Mané, Gana Gueye and Mohamed Salah. But others have struggled to make an appearance, only getting a few minutes or not playing at all.
Some African players are indeed in great difficulty at their clubs. Among them are Eric Bailly (Manchester United), Bouna Sarr (Bayern Munich), Aissa Mandi (Villarreal), Ilaix Moriba (Liepzig), and Munir El Haddadi (Sevilla).
1. Eric Bailly, the crossing of the desert
The Ivorian international is at the bottom of the hole. The Manchester United defender has so far not played a single minute in the Champions League. He was already third in the hierarchy of defenders last year, and has also seen the arrival of Raphael Varane.
Bailly is therefore following the matches from the bench. This is a detrimental situation, but one that is not likely to change in a United shirt. The club would like to get rid of Bailly.
The Ivory Coast's Elephants must be worried, three months before the African Cup of Nations.
2. Bouna Sarr, the 3rd choice
In the Champions League, things are not getting any better for the man who will play for Senegal. The 29-year-old right-back has only played 11 minutes in two games. The 29-year-old has only played 11 minutes in two matches, with full-back Benjamin Pavard on the bench, but Bayern's coach has opted to start a centre-back (Süle) rather than Bouna Sarr.
In the Champions League as well as in the league, the former Marseille player is not getting much playing time. He is no longer even the second choice of his coach. This does not bode well if he wants to get some rhythm and impose himself on the Lions.
3. Aissa Mandi, the hard experience of the bench at Villarreal
Aissa Mandi played his first minutes of the season in the Champions League against Manchester United on Wednesday 30 September. He took the place of Raul Albiol in the 73rd minute. However, the Algerian international did not prevent his team's defeat. Villerreal lost 1-2 thanks to a goal from Cristiano Ronaldo in the 95th minute.
Aissa Mandi is still learning the hard way of being a substitute. The player, who arrived last summer, was a regular starter at his former club, Sevilla. But in Villerreal, he is behind the Spaniards Pau Torres and Raul Albiol, the indisputable starters.
4. Ilaix Moriba bides his time
The former Barça prodigy made the big move abroad this summer by signing for RB Leipzig in Germany. But in the Champions League, the Guinean is still struggling. The 18-year-old has been watching his teammates lose from the bench. Two defeats (3-6 at Manchester City, 1-2 against Bruges) during which he did not play a single minute.
Ilaix Moriba has not played any minutes since his transfer. He is therefore content to wait for his time. Hopefully it will come soon.
5. Munir, the former prodigy turned substitute
Munir El Haddadi played his first minutes in the Champions League on Wednesday 30 September. The Moroccan international came on in the 74th minute. He had just 16 minutes to show his worth. But he could not help his team to win (1-1 draw at Wolsburg).
The former Barça nugget is suffering from the strong competition at Sevilla. As a result, his playing time is not likely to change much in the right direction. In his register, there are Ocampos, Suso, Lamela, Oliver Torres, or Papu Gomez. It could be a long season for the Moroccan.