Ligue 1 kicked off on Friday August 11 with the 1-1 draw between Nice and Lille. Franco-Guinean Bafodé Diakité shone brightly, scoring the equaliser in injury time (90+4). He could be followed throughout the season by other African players who are already attracting attention.
Iliman Ndiaye, love at the Velodrome
Last season's revelation in the Championship (14 goals, 10 assists), Iliman Ndiaye unexpectedly landed at Olympique de Marseille this summer. A fan of the club, the Senegalese international wasted no time in making the move. He thus strengthened a squad that had been depleted offensively by the departures of Dimitri Payet and Alexis Sanchez. Given his performances last season, the Senegalese midfielder could be a considerable attacking asset for OM.
In Marcelino's preferred 4-4-2, he could occupy the position of second striker, a role that suits him well. With his technical ability, he is able to fix opponents and break through low blocks. Iliman Ndiaye also knows how to score and give away goals. He will be eagerly awaited this season. "My welcome at the airport was crazy. The messages I got were crazy. It's a dream to be welcomed like that at your beloved club. I've been dreaming of making my debut at the Velodrome since I was a kid," he declared during his presentation.
Adama Bojang, raw talent
The young Gambian striker lit up the CAN and the U20 World Cup with his talent.As a result, he was courted by a number of top European clubs.In the end, he signed for Stade de Reims (Ligue1) until 2028. A young player of 19, the Gambian is a sure bet who has convinced several observers. "We're very happy to attract a young global prospect like Adama. He's a raw talent who made a name for himself at the U20 World Cup, and he fits in perfectly with the DNA of the Reims project. A number of promising young strikers have already made their mark under our colors, and Adama has the potential to follow in our footsteps," explained Mathieu Lacour, General Manager of Reims.
Abakar Sylla, Strasbourg's record signing
This summer, Racing Club de Strasbourg broke the bank to secure the services of Ivorian defender Abakar Sylla. The Strasbourgeois paid almost €20 million, a club record. Last season with Club Brugge, the 20-year-old Ivorian defender was already being touted as one of the youngsters to watch.He played 26 games for the Belgian club. His performance in the Champions League against Bayern Leverkusen (1-0) will always be remembered. He gave his team victory with an exceptional goal. Abakar Sylla is a powerful defender with excellent technical ability. He comes to Ligue 1 to reinforce Strasbourg's defense following the departure of Alexander Djiku to Fenerbahçe.
"We're delighted to welcome Abakar to Racing. He's an excellent player, and one we've been following for the past two years," said Marc Keller, president of Racing Club Strasbourg, on Saturday. It's a gamble that could pay off, all the more so as the Ivorian has already distinguished himself in a friendly against Werder Bremen."It's a real pleasure to score my first goal at the Meinau stadium. The goal gives me confidence for the first league game. I'm quickly finding my feet, and communication is helping a lot. Everything's going really well with everyone!Whether it's the players, the staff or the fans, who are at training every day.My team-mates are helping me to settle in," says the former SO Armée player.
Oumar Diakité, to forget Folarin Balogun
Arriving from RB Salzburg, the young Ivorian striker (19) will have the tough task of replacing Folarin Balogun (21 goals, 2 assists last season) at Stade de Reims. It's a mission the Elephant looks set to accomplish. He has already scored 6 goals in 5 warm-up games for his new team.His performances will certainly help him to get off to a good start this season. On loan to FC Liefering (Austrian Second Division) last year, he scored 12 goals and provided 11 assists in 35 matches. He has committed himself to Reims until 2028.
Mohammed Salisu to strengthen Monaco's rearguard
Monaco struck hard this summer to replace Axel Disais, who signed for Chelsea.The Monegasques picked up Mohammed Salisu from Southampton for 15 million euros.The 24-year-old Ghanaian defender is very powerful, but also boasts good rebounding ability and extraordinary vision.Not spared from injury, the Black Star played just 22 games for the Saints last season. A problem he hopes to have resolved. "It's true that I haven't played for a few months, but I did the preparation with my previous club, Southampton, with whom I played two games.Right now I'm working hard on a daily basis to be ready as soon as possible and to be at the disposal of the coach and the group.My aim is to get back into shape fairly quickly, but above all to stay that way for the long term," he told a press conference on Friday August 11.
🇬🇭 Mohammed Salisu : le joli coup de Monaco ?
Pour 15M€, l'AS Monaco va faire l'acquisition d'un défenseur central gaucher de qualité !
💪 Solide au duel dans les airs et au sol
✈️ Présent sur coup de pieds arrêtés off. et déf.
🎯 Prends ses responsabilités à la relance pic.twitter.com/ZxXnDjdkNI
— Data'Scout (@datascout_) July 31, 2023