Monday Oct 03, 2022. 16:00
As one of Europe’s elite leagues head into a jam-packed period before the 2022 FIFA World Cup, here are five African players who will be under the spotlight for the rest of the 2022/23 campaign.
Mo Salah – Liverpool
When it comes to best player discussions in the Premier League, Salah’s name is often mentioned at the top of the pile. Ever since his return to England, the Egyptian has been a talismanic figure for Liverpool and will be relied upon again in the 2022/23 campaign.
In nine appearances this season, Salah scored four goals and recorded three assists along the way. Reckoned to have a below par campaign, by his standards, the former Chelsea man remains a player the Reds will rely upon. Also, in a rearranged Liverpool front line, all eyes will be on Salah whose experience will come in handy.
Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace
Ever since his move back to Palace in 2015, Zaha has been a consistent performer for the London-based club. The former Manchester United winger’s loyalty to the club will no doubt be appreciated, having constantly been linked with a move away from the club throughout his career.
In the most recent transfer window, Zaha was said to be on Chelsea’s radar however, no move materialised. With his focus shifted to representing Palace, Zaha will look to add to his four goals in five games this season.
Joel Matip – Liverpool
The Cameroonian was one of Liverpool’s standout players last season. With the club presented with a number of injury woes, particularly in defence, Matip’s progress will be under the microscope.
Matip will be in contention with the likes of Joe Gomez and Ibrahima Konate for a spot alongside Virgil van Dijk in defence and will be tasked to emulate his 22/23 season showings. On his day, Matip’s ball carrying attributes can be difficult for opposition players to contend with, with Liverpool no doubt missing his presence in defence.
Moussa Djenepo – Southampton
The Malian star found the going tough during the first couple of years at the club and often struggled to pen down a regular place in the starting XI. Djanepo made 75 appearances for the club since joining the Saints in 2019, however, his contribution in the 2022/23 season has been most valued.
Now a regular in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, the 24-year-old recently signed a contract extension with the club, with his versatility being a massive asset to the team.
Daniel Amartey – Leicester City
The Ghana international received high praises from Leicester manager, Brendan Rodgers, who lauded the defender’s consistency, desire and strong mentality.
Another key factor in Amartey’s progress this season is that he has been a regular in the starting XI, with Roger’s placing the African star ahead of Calgary Soyuncu in the pecking order. Given the Turkish star’s reputation as being one of the Premier League’s best defenders, Amartey’s confidence will no doubt get a big boost.