Saturday Dec 26, 2020. 10:00
The world has seen rising African wonderkids impress with brilliant performances this year. AfricanFootball.com takes a look at the top five African youngsters in 2020 born on or after 1 January 1999.
5. Amad Diallo – Ivory Coast (born 11 July 2002)
The Ivory Coast-born winger announced his arrival on the world scene during the 2019/20 season – scoring on his professional debut for Atalanta in a 7-1 win against Udinese in October 2019 and he became the first player born in 2002 to score in the Italian top flight, Serie A.
A quick and dynamic player with high technical ability and a good vision of the game, Diallo made his Champions League debut on 1 December 2020 and he is set to join English football powerhouse Manchester United in January 2021, pending the agreement of personal terms, passing a medical and the issue of a work permit.
4. Krepin Diatta – Senegal (25 February 1999)
The Senegal international established himself as one of Club Brugge’s best players during the 2019/20 campaign – scoring seven times in 22 Belgian Pro League games as they won the competition, while also being a regular in the UEFA Champions League – netting once in eight appearances.
A speedy winger, who is blessed with searing pace and an eye for goals, Diatta has been influential for Brugge this term having netted the most goals (nine) in the league for the Pro League log leaders and he also helped the team third in their Champions League group which saw them qualify for the UEFA Europa League Round of 16.
3. Sekou Koita – Mali (28 November 1999)
The Mali international enjoyed his breakthrough season in the 2019/20 campaign, scoring 11 goals from 22 matches across all competitions and he helped RB Salzburg clinch the Austrian Bundesliga title and Austrian Cup, while also making his debut in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.
A speedy left-footed forward, who is a good finisher, Koita has been the best player in the Austrian Bundesliga this term, having netted the most goals (10) in the competition and he helped Salzburg finished third in their Champions League group which saw them qualify for the Europa League Round of 16.
2. Samuel Chukwueze – Nigeria (22 May 1999)
The Nigeria international was a key player for Villarreal in the 2019/20 season which saw the Yellow Submarine finish in the top five in the Spanish La Liga and qualify for this season’s UEFA Europa League – hitting the back of the net four times in 41 competitive matches.
Chukwueze, whose attacking and dribbling styles are reminiscent of Bayern Munich and Dutch legend Arjen Robben, remains a key figure for Villareal this term under new manager Unai Emery, having netted twice in 18 matches in La Liga and Europa League.
1. Lassina Traore – Burkina Faso (12 January 2001)
The Burkina Faso international had his breakthrough season in the 2019/20 campaign, scoring four goals from 12 matches across all competitions for Ajax Amsterdam, but the season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, although he did make his debut in the UEFA Europa League.
Known for his physical strength, speed, ability in the air, powerful and accurate strikes, Traore scored five goals and assisted a further three in a record-breaking 13-0 Dutch Eredivisie victory over VVV-Venlo in October 2020 and he also made his debut in the UEFA Champions League – scoring once in five matches.