The buzz that trailed Victor Osimhen’s move to Napoli for €50 million after spending a season at Ligue 1 side, Lille OSC, has put a spotlight on African footballers once more. Since the European transfer window opened at an unusual time, some African players have made headlines around the world with high expectations hanging over their heads.
Hakim Ziyech spent four years with Eredivisie giants Ajax before sealing a move to the Premier League to join Chelsea for €40 million. The Moroccan’s last two seasons in Amsterdam saw his value rise on the global transfer market.
In the Round of 16 of the 2018-19 Champions League, Ziyech was instrumental in the victory over European giants, Real Madrid, even scoring the opening goal in their 4-1 victory at the Bernabéu.
Despite the cancellation of the 2019-20 Eredivisie season, Ziyech contributed 12 assists and 2 goals to Ajax’s campaign. His addition to Frank Lampard’s youthful squad had earned positive reactions from fans and analysts.
Meanwhile, Ziyech’s countryman, Achraf Hakimi, left the Bundesliga and moved to Inter Milan in dramatic fashion following a fantastic season. In 46 appearances, Hakimi scored 11 goals, 10 assists, and 5 bookings while playing as a right back.
Since joining Los Blancos in 2017, as a prospect for the first team, he made only 11 appearances combined with loans spells to Borussia Dortmund. With Zidane at the helm of affairs at his return, Hakimi wanted guarantees of a starting place, this would mean Dani Carvajal making way for the 21-year-old.
As his wishes couldn’t be met, and Dortmund not in the position to meet Real Madrid’s valuation, Antonio Conte snapped him up for €40 million. With his qualities, Hakimi joins an attacking side with stars like Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sánchez.
Players like Alfred Duncan (Sassuolo to Fiorentina – €15million), Karl Toko Ekambi (Villarreal to Olympique Lyon – €11million), Mohammed Kudus (Nordsjaelland to Ajax Amsterdam – €9million) have also made notable transfers that could see them dominate in the near future.
Osimhen’s status as the most expensive African player could soon be toppled with his new club placing a €56.00 million value on Kalidou Koulibably, while Atlético holds out for a €50.2 million transfer fee from Arsenal for Thomas Partey. Also, Liverpool star, Sadio Mané, being valued at over €100 million will definitely set an all-time African transfer record should The Reds decide to sell based on the current market valuations.