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Premier League: Who were Africa’s breakout stars of the season?

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Premier League: Who were Africa’s breakout stars of the season? 49

 

 

 

 

Mohammed Salisu Southampton

Mohammed Salisu

A case could be made that Salisu was the outstanding centre-back in the Premier League outside the top four this season, with the defender proving that Southampton’s scouts still rank among the best in the division.

His imposing presence in the backline helped the Saints on numerous occasions during a testing campaign, while his use of the ball has also caught the eye.

Hopefully it’s only a matter of time before he makes his debut for Ghana’s Black Stars.

Emmanuel Dennis of Nigeria and Watford.

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Emmanuel Dennis

Shook off the bad-boy reputation to excel during his maiden Premier League season, and should have done enough to ensure he gets another shot at the big time before too long.

Dennis ended the year with 10 top flight goals and a further six assists, while his run of 10 goal involvement in eight games in the winter gave Watford hope of top flight survival.

West Ham United are reportedly keen on his services, and his tenacity could make him a good fit for this Hammers squad.

Ibrahima Konate Liverpool 2022

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Ibrahima Konate

Signed as one for the future, Konate faced stiff competition in the heart of the Liverpool backline from Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez.

He’s ended up making 27 starts in all competitions as the Reds maintained a challenge on four separate fronts, and could yet feature in Saturday’s Champions League final against Real Madrid.

Impressing with his stature and aerial ability, Konate also weighed in with vital opening goals against Benfica (twice) and Manchester City.

Trevor Chalobah

Trevor Chalobah

Returned to Chelsea during the summer after a loan spell at Lorient—without pulling up too many trees—and made the most of his opportunities as injuries left Thomas Tuchel seeking a short-term solution in his three-man backline.

Chalobah has proved to be much more than that, and the club clearly agree, having offered him a contract until 2026.

His ease in possession, desire to press forward and ability to play line-splitting passes have made him a valuable asset, and with Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger departing, Chalobah could have an even greater role to play next term.

Rayan Ait-Nouri Wolverhampton

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Rayan Ait-Nouri

Signed by Wolverhampton Wanderers permanently last year after arriving on loan during the previous campaign, Ait-Nouri enjoyed another season of progression at Molineux.

He particularly excelled at the turn of the year, making big contributions for Wolves both offensively and in the Old Gold’s rugged backline.

There were reports of interest from Paris Saint-Germain at one point during the campaign, and while his form may have dipped a little in the New Year, he still remains on course to become one of the finest left-siders in the division.

 

Yoane Wissa

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Yoane Wissa

One of several star performers during a magnificent debut campaign in the Premier League for Brentford, Wissa’s explosive pace, direct running and sharp finishing proved to be key assets for the Bees.

He ended the year with seven goals in the top flight—not quite getting the credit he deserved—and had a hand in three goals in their final three games of the campaign.

The Democratic Republic of Congo forward also bagged against Liverpool and Chelsea during the course of the season, and big things are expected next season.

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