The African Football HQ team preview the season ahead for African players in Serie A and the Bundesliga There’s so much on the agenda in
The African Football HQ team preview the season ahead for African players in Serie A and the Bundesliga
There’s so much on the agenda in this week’s African Football HQ podcast, as the new season kicks off for Africa’s stars in Serie A and the Bundesliga.
Victor Osimhen is one of the big talking points for Ed Dove and Malek Shafei this week, as the duo debate whether the Super Eagles star can make a success of life in Naples after signing for Napoli in the biggest African deal of the summer.
Napoli parted with $70 million to bring the Nigeria frontman from LOSC Lille following a breakout season in France in which he netted 13 goals.
Admittedly, the season was abridged, but this still represents something of a modest return from a player who commanded such an eye-watering transfer fee.
Excitement for Napoli fans is at fever pitch following a strong pre-season return from Osimhen in friendly matches, and comments made by NFF President Amaju Pinnick tipping the wonderkid to emulate Diego Maradona’s impact in Southern Italy.
A far safer bet, in the eyes of Dove, is Achraf Hakimi, who he’s tipping to make a major mark in the Italian top flight this season following his big money summer move from Borussia Dortmund.
Unlike Osimhen, Hakmi has already proved himself as a consistent performer across two seasons at a major club, and has demonstrated what he can do in the Champions League—a tournament he’s previously won.
Hakimi at Inter under Antonio Conte has the potential to be a perfect fit, but there were signs of tension between club and manager last term, so there’s the danger that the project could unravel spectacularly.
Elsewhere, we also look at some of the broader African interest in Serie A, and the likes of Gervinho, Simy Nwankwo and Ismael Bennacer, before turning our attention to the Bundesliga.
Hakimi may have departed, but there’s still considerable African interest in the likes of Ramy Bensebaini and Amine Harit, while there’s a whole plethora of Franco-African stars who may be handed a maiden international call-up by France in the coming months.
And what of Ademola Lookman?
The Nigerian starlet—now 22—has already demonstrated what he can do in the German top flight during his time with RasenBallsport Leipzig while on loan from Everton.
Now back in Germany permanently, we’ve seen precious little of his immense quality. Can he turn it around this term?