The five biggest African transfers into Ligue 1

The five biggest African transfers into Ligue 1
Idrissa Gana Gueye of Senegal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals, Final match between Senegal and Algeria at Cairo International Stadium, Cairo, Egypt on 19 July 2019 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Aug 07, 2019. 13:30

Ahead of the start of the 2019/20 Ligue 1 season this coming weekend, we look at the top five African players to transfer into the French top flight.


Gelson Martins – Cape Verde

Atletico Madrid to Monaco – €30million


The Cape Verdean winger is no newcomer to Ligue 1, having featured in 16 matches (in which he scored four goals and had two assists) on loan for Monaco this season. The principality club were so impressed by his work that they shelled out €30million to Atletico Madrid to permanently secure his services and will hope for even better numbers in 2019/20.


Idrissa Gueye – Senegal

Everton to Paris Saint-Germain – €30million


This move was long in the making, with Idrissa Gueye linked with Paris Saint-Germain as far back as January. Everton were able to hold onto him until the European summer, but ultimately the pull of the Ligue 1 champions proved too strong for the Senegalese, who is set to form a formidable midfield partnership with ex-Manchester United man Ander Herrera.


M’Baye Niang – Senegal

Torino to Stade Rennais – €15million


Senegalese forward M’Baye Niang is another who will not be a fresh face in Ligue 1 in 2019/20, but has completed a permanent move from Italian side Torino to Stade Rennais for a reported €15million. Last term he had 11 goals and five assists from 29 Ligue 1 appearances – little wonder Rennais have been happy to purchase him on a three-year contract.


Victor Osimhen – Nigeria

RSC Charleroi to Lille – €12million


Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen has long been regarded as one of his country’s most promising up-and-coming strikers, and he will have the chance to prove his pedigree in one of Europe’s top leagues following a €12million move from Charleroi to Lille. The 20-year-old racked up 12 goals and three assists in 25 Belgian Pro League appearances last term.


Youssouf Kone – Mali

Lille to Olympique Lyon – €9million


Malian defender Youssouf Kone represents a major move within Ligue 1, rather than one arriving from outside the French top flight, but he is still a major coup for his new team. The 24-year-old left-back has signed for Lyon on a five-year deal and will look to be a consistently strong performer under new manager Sylvinho.






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