The 2023 summer mercato has closed its doors.Sport News Africa takes this opportunity to pick out some of the good moves made by European clubs in recruiting African players. The pick of the bunch goes to Premier League clubs, who have recruited the likes of Mohamed Kudus, Sofyan Amrabat and Carlos Baleba.
Sofyan Amrabat and André Onana to Manchester
Leaving Florence and its beauty and romance for Manchester and its fickle weather can be a daunting prospect for some. But for Sofyan Amrabat, it sounds like a golden opportunity. The Moroccan midfielder has signed for the Red Devils. And like a script written in advance, the suspense was at its height. The Atlas Lion has been a target for the United since the start of the summer transfer window, and has now joined the club in the final hours. A loan which delights the player. His partnership with Casemiro is already delighting fans.
In the north of England, Amrabat is reunited with André Onana. The Cameroonian goalkeeper has been a Mancunian since the early weeks of the mercato. A Champions League finalist with Inter, the Barcelona-trained player was brought in to compensate for the departure of David De Gea. So, with Onana in goal and Sofyan Amrabat in the back line, Erik Ten Hag can be confident about his defensive options.
Ismaïla Sarr, back where it all began, Nuamah to start
At Watford, Ismaïla Sarr had been stagnating for several years. Olympique de Marseille is therefore a golden opportunity for the Senegalese winger to get back on track. And the least we can say is that his return to Ligue 1 has been a success so far. With 6 games played, the former Rennes player already has 2 goals and 2 assists to his name. He has also scored in his last two Ligue 1 games. This deal has all the hallmarks of a win-win partnership between the two parties. OM have found an explosive player on their flank, and Sarr a club playing a leading role in Ligue 1 and the Europa League this season.
In Ligue 1, another firebrand has arrived, but not at the same Olympique. Ernest Nuamah, 19 years old and with qualities to spare.The Ghanaian has signed for Lyon. He leaves Denmark, where he made his name. From now on, he'll be expressing his talent on French soil. This deal is a real coup for the Ghanaian nugget. Lyon is a club renowned for nurturing young talent. What's more, Les Gones need some dynamite up front.And just in time, Nuamah has plenty of it.
Victor Boniface, Ramy Bensebaini in Germany...
An outstanding performer last season with Union Saint-Gilloise, with 17 goals and 12 assists in all competitions, Victor Boniface has turned a corner in his career during the summer mercato. The 22-year-old Nigerian striker has left Belgium for Germany and Bayer Leverkusen. And the least we can say is that the graft is taking magnificently well.He already has 3 goals and 1 assist in 3 games. An ideal adaptation to the Bundesliga.
On German soil, Boniface is likely to come up against an old hand in Ramy Bensebaini. The Algerian defender has gone from one Borussia to another, from Mönchengladbach to Dortmund. A promotion for the Fennec, who joins a club that plays in the Champions League every year and is in with a shout of winning the title.So far, the Marsupiaux have played 4 matches this season. Bensebaini has started all of them.
Victor Boniface 🔥 pic.twitter.com/G5lLrf1KM1
— Oluwashina Okeleji (@oluwashina) August 31, 2023
Jackson, Kudus, Sangaré and Baleba in England
England has two new conquerors, and not the least.Two of them come from the Netherlands, where they conquered everything. Ghanaian striker Mohamed Kudus left Ajax for West Ham for almost 40 million euros. And on the last day of the mercato, Ibrahim Sangaré swapped the red of PSV Eindhoven for that of Nottingham Forest. Another African midfielder has also arrived in the Premier League. Carlos Baleba leaves Lille and joins Brighton. The Cameroonian arrives with the label of "replacement for". He comes to take over from Moïses Caïcedo, who left for Chelsea for 130 million euros, the most expensive transfer in Premier League history.
Before these three players, Nicolas Jackson had already set foot in Her Majesty's realm. The Senegalese striker joined Chelsea at the start of the season.And after some outstanding performances in pre-season, the Casa Sport-trained player has made a fine start to the Premier League season. He even opened his account last weekend. His coach Mauricio Pochettino is completely under his spell.
We could also mention other transfer deals: Abde Ezzalzouli leaves Barça for Bétis Séville. Bamo Meïté from Lorient to Marseille, Samuel Chukwueze from Villarreal to AC Milan.