Five Africans who could make their debuts this weekend

Five Africans who could make their debuts this weekend
From ESPN - September 8, 2017

Africa's stars were some of the major protagonists of the transfer window, with some of the continent's biggest names moving clubs since the last matchday across Europe's major leagues.

Following the international break, we now have an opportunity to see some of the movers in action as domestic action resumes.

Here, we profile five African players who could be set to make their debuts for their new clubs this weekend.

Giannelli Imbula ended his disappointing spell at Stoke City with a loan move to Toulouse, and a return to Ligue 1, where he once starred with Olympique de Marseille.

The Franco-Congolese defensive midfielder remains a fine talent even if he rarely showed his true colours in England, and if he can rediscover anything close to his previous form in France, he could be a major asset for Pascal Dupraz's side.

Le TFC coach has vowed that Imbula will get game time as he looks to return to peak physical condition, and the 24-year-old could get his opportunity against Troyes this weekend.

Max Gradel also returned to France after struggling to establish himself at Bournemouth and has been one of Toulouse's star men after moving to the Stade Municipal on loan - could Imbula follow suit?

Wilfried Bony became Africa's then most expensive player of all time when he left Swansea City for Manchester City in January 2015, but he never truly demonstrated his qualities at the Etihad Stadium.

He scored just twice during his first season, but while that meagre tally could have been explained by the Ivorian's adapting to life at a bigger club, his toils on loan at Stoke City last term - he managed two goals all year - suggest a more terminal decline.

The 28-year-old netted 25 times in 54 league outings during his previous tenure at the Liberty Stadium, and with Jordan Ayew and Tammy Abraham yet to convince, the Swans need Bony back to his best.

Keita Balde: AS Monaco may have pulled off one of the coups of the window when they signed Balde from Lazio.


Continue reading at ESPN »