FEATURE: Thomas Partey among five African players lighting up 2019/20 La Liga season

Published on: 28 March 2020

SuperSport viewers on DStv and GOtv have enjoyed a fantastic 2019/20 La Liga season to date. During this period of reduced football activity, we take a look at the top five African players in La Liga.

Thomas Partey – Ghana, Atletico Madrid

Appearances (subs) 21 (3)

Minutes played 1841

Goals 2

Assists 0

Yellow cards 10

Red Cards 0

Pass completion 83.1%

This La Liga season has been one in which Ghanaian Thomas Partey has truly established himself as a regular for Atletico Madrid, with manager Diego Simeone showing more faith in the Black Stars midfielder.

Football pundit Shaka Hislop believes Arsenal should move quickly to capitalise on rumours that they are interested in signing the player: “If you’re Arsenal and you can somehow price Partey away from Atletico Madrid, absolutely you do it all day every day. He sits in front of the back four, I’m still not sure that there are many better box-to-box midfielders in the game. If you get this done, do it now, do it quick.”

Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa – Cameroon, Villarreal

Appearances (subs) 18 (7)

Minutes played 1682

Goals 1

Assists 0

Yellow cards 6

Red Cards 0

Pass completion 85.8%

Only one goal so far in this La Liga season for Cameroonian Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, but his value lies in the tireless work he contributes to Villarreal’s midfield and his ability to link defence and attack with his running power.

"At Villarreal, because of the quality of the players [we have] and the style of play, I am playing more as a box-to-box [midfielder], and I feel my abilities are utilised both defensively and offensively," explained the Indomitable Lions star.

Youssef En-Nesyri – Morocco, Leganes & Sevilla

Appearances (subs) 15 (3)

Minutes played 1385

Goals 4

Assists 2

Yellow cards 2

Red Cards 0

Pass completion 57.3%

Moroccan forward Youssef En-Nesyri so impressed for Leganes in the first half of the current La Liga season that he earned a move to Champions League-chasing Sevilla in the January transfer window. The Atlas Lions player is not a prolific scorer (as a return of just four goals in 2019/20 suggests) but his ability to create space and chances for others makes him a perfect foil for attacking midfielders to play around.

Samuel Chukwueze – Nigeria, Villarreal

Appearances (subs) 13 (13)

Minutes played 1426

Goals 3

Assists 1

Yellow cards 1

Red Cards 0

Pass completion 72.2%

Samuel Chukwueze is undoubtedly one of African football’s rising stars, even if this La Liga season has not been quite as impressive as his first for Villarreal.

The 20-year-old Nigerian needs to score more goals according to an African and La Liga legend, Samuel Eto’o: "He is a quality player and he needs to score more goals, but he has the quality and ability to be more than just a goalscoring forward. Once he gets all of that he will be top."

Idrissu Baba Mohammed – Ghana, Mallorca

Appearances (subs) 25 (0)

Minutes played 2090

Goals 0

Assists 0

Yellow cards 5

Red Cards 0

Pass completion 80.3%

No goals or assists yet in this La Liga season for Ghanaian Idrissu Baba Mohammed, but his reliability and consistency in midfield is absolutely key to Mallorca’s hopes of remaining in the Spanish top flight.

"Baba is an important player for us, a hard-worker as a midfielder who is reliable and able to provide defensive skills," said Mallorca manager Vicente Moreno. "He has grown strongly as a player and I hope he can help us achieve our goal for the season."

Until live sport resumes, SuperSport has converted its line-up of games to thematic channels for the foreseeable future. Fans of football can tune into SuperSport 3 to ‘Relive the Premier League’, while SuperSport 7 features ‘Relive the Best Football’, with a mix of the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, La Liga, Serie A and FIFA Documentaries.

Source: guardian.ng