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7 African Players to Look Out for in the UEFA Champions League

18 September 2019, by: Hansley Jugar

7 African Players in UEFA Champions League you need to watch

The Champions League has been graced by some of the continent’s greatest talents. Samuel Eto’o, Michael Essien, Seydou Keita and Benni McCarthy are just a few that have gone the whole way, and last season Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were key to Liverpool winning the title.

With this in mind, we profiled 7 African players that will be participating in this season’s Champions League. The players profiled are below the radar and will be having their first experience at this level. These players are on teams that may not necessarily go the whole way (or even make it out of their groups), but they have shown they have the ability and quality to make their mark.

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The latest player to make the jump from RB Salzburg to RB Leipzig. He has been compared to another African alumnus of both teams in Naby Keita but comparisons are slightly premature. A traditional box-to-box midfielder, he had a decent AFCON with Mali and will be looking to establish himself in Leipzig’s midfield.

The highly-rated centre-back is part of a young and hugely talented team at Salzburg. He was unlucky to not make the cut for Cameroon’s AFCON team where his calmness and ability on the ball could have benefited the team. A good showing in the Champions League will definitely see him being the next African player to move from Salzburg to a top division.

Mady Camara has only been at Olympiacos for one season but he has become one of their most important players. His flexibility allows him to fill in in defence when needed, but it is as the holding midfielder where he has excelled. It will be interesting to see where and how he plays against elite level competition.

Mbwana Samatta is a goal-scoring machine. He scored 32 goals in all competitions for RC Genk last season, 9 in the Europa league alone. He has hit the ground running this season and has 5 goals in 6 games. If he wasn’t Tanzanian, he would be playing in a top 5 league by now.

South Africa’s pride and joy. Percy Tau deserves to be playing at the highest level and this will be an opportunity for him to prove that. He has started the season well enough and with games coming up against European heavyweights, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid, he has the platform to shine.

Another player that had a terrific season in the Belgian Pro League, Vincent Osimhen’s form last season earned him a move to LOSC Lille and the opportunity to play in the Champions League. The lanky striker has already scored 5 goals for his new club and with Nicolas Pepe gone, seems to be their main attacking threat.

From a current Lille player to one that just left the club. Youssouf Kone made the move to Lyon during the off-season and started three of their opening league games before an automatic red-card saw him suspended for their last two. With the lack of left-back options at Lyon, I would expect to see him drafted back into the squad when available.

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