Africa has always been a fertile ground for producing talented footballers who have made their mark in the European leagues.
From legends like George Weah, Samuel Eto’o, Didier Drogba, and Yaya Touré, to current stars like Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané, Riyad Mahrez, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the continent has never lacked quality and flair on the pitch.
However, in recent years, a new wave of African players has emerged, showing great potential and promise in some of the top clubs in Europe. These players are not only gifted with technical skills and physical attributes, but also with ambition, determination, and leadership qualities.
These are the new generation of African stars who are ready to take the world by storm.
Here are five of them who have impressed in the 2022-23 season:
The Nigerian striker has been a revelation for Napoli since joining them from Lille in 2020. He has scored 50 goals in 83 Serie A appearances, becoming the highest goal scoring African in the league’s history. He also won the Serie A Best Young Player award in the 2021-22 season. Osimhen is a powerful and pacey forward who can finish with both feet and his head. He is also a hard-working and humble player who is always eager to improve. He has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, who are looking for a long-term successor to Karim Benzema
The Zambian forward has been a sensation for Leicester City since joining them from Red Bull Salzburg in 2021. He has scored 9 goals in 53 Premier League games, helping the Foxes to secure promotion to the EFL Championship after a decade in the second tier. Daka is an explosive and creative player who can play as a centre-forward or a winger. He is known for his acceleration, dribbling, and clinical finishing. He has also been instrumental for his national team, leading them to their first ever Africa Cup of Nations title in 2021. He has been compared to Jamie Vardy, who has praised him as his heir apparent
The Ghanaian midfielder has been a key player for Ajax since joining them from Nordsjælland in 2020. He has scored 16 goals in 63 Eredivisie games, winning two league titles and one KNVB Cup with the Dutch giants. Kudus is a versatile and dynamic player who can play as an attacking midfielder or a winger. He is known for his vision, passing, dribbling, and shooting. He has also been influential for his national team, scoring 7 goals in 24 caps. He has been likened to Michael Essien, who has hailed him as one of the best African talents in Europe
The Moroccan defender has been a star for Paris Saint-Germain since joining them from Inter Milan in 2021. He has scored 9 goals in 60 Ligue 1 games, winning two league titles and one Trophée des Champions with the French champions. Hakimi is a versatile and attacking player who can play as a right-back or a winger. He is known for his speed, crossing, and defending. He has also been outstanding for his national team, scoring 8 goals in 64 caps. He has been regarded as one of the best defenders in the world by many pundits and coaches
The Senegalese defender has been a leader for Al-Hilal since joining them from Chelsea in 2023. He has helped the Saudi club to win their first ever AFC Champions League title, as well as two domestic trophies. Koulibaly is a strong and commanding player who can play as a centre-back or a defensive midfielder. He is known for his aerial ability, tackling, and passing. He has also been inspirational for his national team, captaining them to their second Africa Cup of Nations title in 2021. He has been rated as one of the best defenders of his generation by many experts and fans
These are just some of the examples of the new generation of African stars who are shining in Europe’s top leagues. They are not only making their clubs and countries proud, but also inspiring millions of young Africans who dream of following their footsteps.