Thomas Partey among Africans favourites for next year’s Champions League

Published on: 14 August 2020

Goal considers the continent’s leading men who could have a chance of success in Europe’s biggest club competition in 2020/21.

Salah, Mane & Keita

Liverpool were surprisingly eliminated by Atletico Madrid in the first knockout round, despite being tipped by most observers to go deep in the competition.

It seemed like Jurgen Klopp prioritised claiming the club’s first Premier League title in three decades this season, but will mount another challenge in Europe next term.

The Reds boss can call upon his African triumvirate of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Naby Keita as Klopp seeks to take the historic club to a seventh European Cup in 2020/21.

Idrissa Gueye

Wednesday night’s dramatic turnaround against Atalanta proved Paris-Saint Germain aren’t as lily-livered as the media have portrayed in recent years, although the French giants have had their low moments in the competition.

No matter how this season’s competition concludes, Gueye and co. will be among the frontrunners to claim the prize in 20/21.

Now in the semi-final for the first time since 1995, the Parisians may well win Old Big Ears this term.

Riyad Mahrez

While Manchester City are always among the favourites for the Champions League, they have tended to underwhelm in the competition recently despite their undoubted talent.

Mahrez has been one of this season’s best players, and the Algerian wideman and his teammates will be tipped by critics regardless of how this year’s tournament pans out.

The Citizens were let off the hook by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in July and will be grateful for another chance to compete among the continent’s finest.

Thomas Partey

The Ghana midfielder’s future is in the balance, with Arsenal reported being his next destination. However, both clubs are said to wide apart in their valuation, so it remains to be seen if that move indeed materialises.

If Partey stays at Atletico Madrid, they will undoubtedly be in the mix for the continent’s most prestigious tournament especially as there appears to be no side who are head and shoulders above the rest of the contenders next term.

Partey has reached the final before, having been part of the Atleti side who were defeated by Real Madrid in 2014.

Achraf Hakimi

In truth, little is known right now about the future of Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte, but the Nerazzurri’s strong finish to the season and current squad means they should be in the conversation for next season’s Champions League.

Hakimi has been added to the setup at Inter and the Morocco wing-back can continue his development under the demanding Italian manager (if he stays).

Despite not pulling up trees in Europe’s top tier club competition since winning it in 2010, next season could present Inter with a chance of winning another crown.

Hakim Ziyech

Chelsea’s 7-1 aggregate elimination at the hands of Bayern Munich suggests they are a long way from contending for the Champions League, not to mention winning it.

However, the recent additions of attacking firepower in the creative Ziyech and goalscoring magnet Timo Werner means Frank Lampard’s troops could actually have a chance next year.

Ziyech has been one of the competition’s best players in the last two seasons at Ajax, with the Morocco man demonstrating his influence on the big European nights.

While many observers will claim the Blues don’t have a prayer given their horrendous defending at times this year, the addition of the right players in defensive midfield and defence could change those opinions for next season.