Ligue 1: who are the five African players to follow this season?

Ligue 1: who are the five African players to follow this season?

Will Seko Fofana still be a Racing Club de Lens player at the end of the summer transfer window? The question burns the lips of Lensois supporters and many followers of the championship as the Ivorian midfielder splashed his talent on the lawns of Ligue 1 last season. The artesian captain was rewarded with a seventh place, a nomination in the typical team of the season, as well as the Marc Vivien Foé prize which distinguishes the best African player in the championship.

Read also: L1: Fofana, the X factor of an already orphan Lensois environment

Announced at Paris Saint-Germain or Olympique de Marseille but under contract until 2024, RC Lens wants to keep it. Knowing full well that a hefty offer might be hard to refuse. Another detail that will be important: Seko Fofana will make his big comeback with the Ivorian selection next September after three years of absence, where he preferred to devote himself to his club.

  • Bamba DIENG (Olympic Marseille)

Will leave? Won’t bet? The future of Bamba Dieng at Olympique de Marseille is for the moment dashed during this summer transfer window. Rare market value of the Marseille workforce, its leaders indeed wish to transfer it and recover a sum of around 15 million euros. Conversely, the Senegalese international and winner of CAN 2021 seems determined to stay and truly impose himself on the Canebière.

The former resident of Diambars (Senegal) is currently experiencing a difficult situation. The new Marseille coach, Igor Tudor, left him on the bench during almost all the preparation meetings while the Olympians multiplied the recruitments for his position (Luis Suarez and probably Alexis Sanchez).

Author of a promising first season, marked by an excellent start to the season and a memorable double in Monaco (0-2), Bamba Dieng could undoubtedly be useful to a team already in full doubt. And which sometimes lacked verticality and depth last year.

  • Youssouf M’CHANGAMA (AJ Auxerre)

The revelation of the French Ligue 2 championship is coming to Ligue 1! Free of any contract and initially announced very close to FC Nantes, Youssef M’Changama finally initialed a two-year commitment with the promoted Auxerre. His striking quality and his splendid free-kicks worked wonders all last year at Guingamp. To the point of receiving the UNFP trophy for the most goal of the season in May for a first-line shot on the lawn of Toulouse during the 14th day (2-2).

I had an atypical journey, I even come back from afar, but I never gave up, I always believed in it, I waited and I was rewarded for it“, confided the Comorian international to our colleagues from Republican Yonne. The 31-year-old midfielder will indeed experience his first season in the top flight.

But Youssef M’Changama has already had a taste of the high level by leading the Comoros to the round of 16 of the CAN. With, of course, a sumptuous thirty-meter free kick against Cameroon (1-2).

He was one of the attractions of the summer transfer window in France… After a successful first season in Ligue 1 in his training club Clermont Foot 63 – 14 goals and 5 assists in 32 games – Mohamed Bayo signed up in Lille for four seasons and 14 million euros. A return to the North for the Guinean striker who appeared in the colors of Dunkirk (National) between 2019 and 2020.

Read also: European football: update on transfers of African players

Able to go deep and effective in front of goal, the young striker (24) will be one of the major attacking assets of the Mastiffs, who must bounce back after a disappointing season in the league (10th square). He will form a promising duo with the Canadian Jonathan David, under the leadership of the new Portuguese technician Paulo Fonseca. Mohamed Bayo will finally find his ex-teammate in Auvergne, Akim Zedadka. The Algerian right-back has also signed for three years with LOSC.

Mohamed Bayo (Clermont) against Olympique de Marseille, at the Stade Vélodrome, February 20, 2022.
  • Youssef BELAÏLI (Stade Brestois 29)

Landed from Qatar at the very end of the winter transfer window for six months, Youssef Belaïli finally extended his contract for one year with the Finistère club. The Algerian international will therefore have a second consecutive season in Brittany. Despite a difficult start physically, the striker had scored 3 goals in 13 games, including a gem on the lawn of Monaco (4-2) by eliminating three defenders.

Read also: Youcef Belaili: the chaotic journey of an Algerian football genius

To shine regularly this year, the former resident of Esperance Sportve de Tunis will have to avoid small hitches. His late return from the Algerian selections in early April had not been at all to the taste of his coach, Michel der Zakarian. First encouraging sign: Belaïli was very restless during the preparation matches, even scoring the second goal in the victory against Lorient (2-0).

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