The just ended, most successful, World Cup in Russia appears to have overshadowed the summer football transfer business, as a couple of deals involving some of the continent’s stars, went on without much media report.
From Kwadwo Asamoah joining Inter Milan, Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez swapping Leicester City for Manchester City to Morocco’s promising young defender, Achraf Hakimi, moving from Real Madrid to German giants, Borussia Dortmund; here is a comprehensive summary of the high profile transfers involving African players, as well as, deals likely to happen as the transfer market begins to hot up.
Wahbi Khazri, Tunisia (Sunderland to St Ettienne) €6.3m
Tunisia attacker, Wahbi Khazri, has finally secured a permanent move away from Sunderland to St Etienne in France, for an amount worth £6.3 million.
Khazri spent last season on loan at French Ligue 1 side, Rennes, where he scored nine goals in 23 appearances. At Etienne, the 27-year -old Tunisian, will be expected to steady the ship as the team looks to push for European football.
Max Gradel – Ivory Coast (Bournemouth to Toulouse)
Having spent last season on loan at Toulouse where he impressed by scoring eight goals in 27 league appearances, the French club has decided to make his stay permanent for an undisclosed sum.
The 30-year-old Ivorian winger joined English top flight side Bournemouth in 2015, but struggled to make an impact.
Christian Kouame, Ivory Coast (Cittadella to Genoa)
Young Ivorian striker, Christian Kouame, has joined Genoa in Serie A from Serie B side Cittadella, where he registered 11 goals last season. The cost of the transfer remains unclear.
Nicholas Opoku, Ghana (Club Africain to Udinese) €1.35m
Udinese has signed Ghana defender Nicholas Opoku from Club Africain in Tunisia for £1.35 million. The 20-year-old joins a long list of Ghanaians players to have signed for the Italian Serie A club over the years.
Raman Chibsah, Ghana (Benevento to Frosinone)
The Italian Serie A appears a busy market for Ghanaian footballers, following Frosinone acquisition of versatile Ghana international midfielder, Raman Chibsah, from Benevento, for an unnamed sum.
Chibsah, 25 years old, has vast experience in Serie A, having previously played for clubs such as Parma, Sassuolo, and will be expected to help newly promoted Frosinone survive relegation.
Kevin Prince Boateng, Ghana (Eintracht Frankfurt to Sassuolo)
Sassuolo, having finished last season in 11th and below mid-table, the Italian club has acquired services of experienced Ghanaian midfielder/attacker as a free agent from German club Eintracht Frankfurt, as they look to improve on last season’s performance.
The 31-year-old had previously played for AC Milan.
Kwadwo Asamoah, Ghana (Juventus to Inter Milan)
One of the surprise deals of the ongoing transfer window was Ghana’s Kwadwo Asamoah swapping Italian champions Juventus, for fellow Serie A rivals, Inter Milan.
Asamoah, who turns 30 years in December this year, had the option to renew his contract with Juventus but instead decided to move to Inter Mila. He was also reportedly pursuit by a number of European teams.
Achraf Hakimi, Morocco (Real Madrid to Borussia Dortmund) loan
Having won the Champions League with Real Madrid last season, young versatile defender Ackraf Hakimi, has moved to German club Borussia Dortmund on a season long loan.
The 19-year-old who can play at either right, or left back, as well as, in central defence, is expected to fill the void left behind by the departure of Sokratis Papastathopoulos to Arsenal.
The Spanish La –Liga has witnessed only two high profile transfers involving African players.
They include Cameroun’s defensive midfielder Ibrahim Amadou, 25 years, who moved from Lille in France to Sevilla for an undisclosed fee, and another Cameroonian, Karl Toko Ekambi, who joins Villarreal from Angers, in France for £18 million.
A number of big-name deals involving players from the continent have already be struck in England, including an all-time record few, with more expected to follow.
Riyad Mahrez, Algeria (Leicester City to Manchester City) €79.6m
Mahrez’s deal which is valued around €79.6 million (60 million British pounds), is now the highest fee ever paid for an African footballer as well a record for a Manchester City player.
Blessed with pace and trickery, Mahrez,, 27 years, will compete with the likes of Bernardo Silva and David Silva for a starting place in the Man City team as they seek to defend their league title.
Leon Balogun, Nigeria (Mainz to Brighton)
The Nigeria international joined English Premier League club, Brighton as a free agent before the World Cup, bringing an end to his nine-year stint in the German league.
The 30-year-old who was at the heart of Nigeria’s defence at the World Cup in Russia, signed a two-year deal with premier league club in May.
Naby Keita, Guinea (RB Leipzip to Liverpool) €57m
Keita’s deal with Liverpool was agreed in January this year, but the move was only completed at the end of last season, paving way for one of the continent’s promising players to join his new club for the upcoming season.
Known for his box-to-box play, the 23-year-old signed a long-term five year deal with the English Premier side. He is one of a few traditional midfielders in the game today, capable of combining defensive and offensive responsibilities.
Other new African faces to watch out for in England include 21-year-old Senegalese French born central-defender, Issa Diop, who joined West Ham from Toulouse for a few of €22.5 million, as well as, Egypt’s Ramadan Sobhi, who moved from Stoke City in the English Championship to Huddersfield in the Premier League for a sum of £5.9 million.
In Portugal, Nigeria international defender, Tyrone Efe Ebuehi, has completed a move from Dutch club ADO Den Hang to Benfica as a free agent.
Meanwhile, there is still a long way to go before the close of the transfer window in August. A number of movements involving African players across Europe are still expected to happen in the coming weeks.
Ghana’s Andre Ayew is destined to leave relegated side, Swansea, for either another premier league team, or Turkey.
Senegalese striker, Mame Diouf, is also reportedly keen to part ways with Stoke City, one of last season’s relegated clubs in England.