African Premier League Team of the Week

African Premier League Team of the Week
Manchester United's goalkeeper Andre Onana in action during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Liverpool FC in Manchester, Britain, 07 April 2024. EPA/ADAM VAUGHAN

by Staff Reporter

Sunday Apr 07, 2024. 18:48

We picked the best performers from Africa following another pulsating round of Premier League action in midweek as Rayan Ait-Nouri denied Burnley victory with an equaliser for Wolves at Turf Moor.


Goalkeeper:


Andre Onana (Manchester United) – The Cameroon international gets the nod by default as he’s the only African to feature in goal amongst the 20 top-flight clubs. The 28-year-old didn’t make the best of starts to his career at Old Trafford, but his performances have improved since he returned from the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations despite keeping just two clean sheets during that period of nine games. Onana made six saves in the agonising 4-3 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on April 4, having been beaten by a deflected shot from Cole Palmer in the 11th minute of stoppage time.



Defenders:


Ola Aina (Nottingham Forest) – The Nigeria international made his first appearance since sustaining an injury at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, helping Nottingham Forest to a 3-1 victory over Fulham at the City Ground on April 2. The 27-year-old was withdrawn in the 83rd minute as Forest manager Nuno Espirito Santo looks to ease him back following a four-game lay-off.


Calvin Bassey (Fulham) – The Nigeria international lined up against his compatriot in midweek and was heavily involved in the action with 106 touches on the ball, while making four tackles. The 24-year-old was on the losing side as Fulham shipped three goals for the second game in succession after keeping a clean sheet in the 3-0 win over Tottenham on March 16.


Issa Kabore (Luton) – The Burkina Faso international has performed admirably for Luton on his debut season in the top flight, but he was powerless to stop Arsenal from running out 2-0 victors at the Emirates Stadium on April 3. The 22-year-old, who joined the Hatters on loan from Manchester City in July, made 62 touches against the Gunners and won two tackles.


Midfielders:


Mohammed Kudus (West Ham) – The Ghana international has been a revelation for West Ham since making the switch from Ajax in August, contributing seven goals and four assists in 26 league appearances. The 23-year-old provided an attacking outlet against Tottenham in a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium on April 2, having two shots and making 32 passes from out wide.


Yves Bissouma (Tottenham) – The Mali international received praise from Tottenham head coach Ange Postecoglou for an outstanding performance against West Ham after he dictated play from midfield. The 27-year-old was heavily involved in the build-up for Spurs, making 105 touches and completing 97 passes to help them earn a point at the London Stadium.


Thomas Partey (Ghana) – The Ghana international has endured a rough season at Arsenal, missing 19 league games through injury, although he was handed his first start since August in the 2-0 win over Luton on April 3. The 30-year-old was influential in the middle of the park, having 75 touches on the ball and making 67 passes before being replaced by Declan Rice on 67 minutes.


Rayan Ait-Nouri (Wolves) – The Algeria international’s influence on the team has grown in recent weeks after registering two goals and one assist in his last five league games. The 22-year-old, who also scored in the FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Coventry, headed home the equaliser against Burnley on April 2 to earn a point for Wolves in the race for a top-10 finish.


Forwards:


Lyle Foster (Burnley) – The South Africa international has come back into Vincent Kompany’s plans after sitting out five games during February and March. The 23-year-old, who was not part of the Bafana Bafana squad that reached the semi-finals at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, looked lively against Wolves as he linked up well with Vitinho on the right flank to cause the visitors problems.


Simon Adingra (Brighton) – The Ivory Coast international, who was named Best Young Player at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, was a real livewire in the 0-0 draw with Brentford, managing 51 touches on the ball. The 22-year-old should perhaps have done better when he connected with a corner on the volley that went straight to the keeper in the first half.


Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – The Egypt international remains in the hunt for the Golden Boot despite missing six games recently with muscular problems. The 31-year-old, who is three goals behind topscorer Erling Haaland (19), was influential in the 3-1 win against Sheffield United on April4, hitting the target with two of his three shots and getting 46 touches on the ball.







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