The European domestic season is almost set to get underway, and teams have almost got their squads finalised for the coming campaign. There is set to be a number of exciting African players plying their trade on the European continent this season. But, which stars are we most excited to see play in the 2021-22 campaign?
One of the most exciting strikers in Belgium at present is Paul Onuachu. The 27-year-old has hit the ground running since moving to Genk in 2019, and it’s likely that his stock will continue to rise throughout the 2021-22 season. Onuachu played 38 times in the league last season, and scored an incredible 33 goals.
That was by far his best scoring season to date, as he managed just nine goals in the season before. The striker will once again be at the forefront for Genk this season, and he could be their leading man that guides them towards the league title.
Victor Osimhen has already made a very good impression throughout his career in Europe. However, there will be expectation for him to continue to improve in the 2021-22 season, as Napoli look to get themselves back into the Champions League. Osmihen signed for the Italian giants for a club-record fee back in 2020, and settled quickly to life in Serie A.
The 22-year-old scored ten goals in 30 games in all competitions. It was the third straight season in a row that the Nigerian has scored at least ten goals in all competitions. His best scoring season to date came in 2018-19, as he scored 20 goals in 36 games for Charleroi in Belgium. However, his development has shown no signs of stopping.
Moroccan international Achraf Hakimi will be playing for one of the Champions League favourites this season, after signing for PSG from Inter Milan earlier in the summer. Hakimi will be the club’s preferred choice for right-back this season, and could feasibly be one of the most underrated signings made by the club this year. All the attention will be on the potential arrival of Lionel Messi, but it was defensively where PSG needed to improve if they were to get closer to winning the Champions League.
Hakimi impressed during his one, and only, season in Serie A with Inter Milan, as he played a prominent role in their league title success. The right-back played in all but one of the Serie A fixtures last season, as he scored seven goals in the league. He will be expected to have the same impact in Ligue 1 this season with Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
One player that will certainly be under pressure to perform for his club side this season is Gabon international Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang. It was a lacklustre campaign for Arsenal in 2020-21, but with no European football this term, Mikel Arteta’s side must get themselves back into at least the Europa League. Aubameyang has been an excellent addition for the Gunners since signing for the club for £56 million in 2018.
Aubameyang endured a difficult season in the Premier League last term, as he scored just ten times in 29 games. That was his lowest scoring season since arriving in the Premier League after he has scored 22 goals in each of the previous two full campaigns. It’s no surprise that Arsenal’s overall performance was diminished without their talisman scoring the goals, which will be something that Arteta will be looking to amend in the 2021-22 season.
The 2021-22 season could be a pivotal one for Patson Daka. Leicester City brought in the 22-year-old during the summer, with the belief being that the Zambian is the long-term replacement for Jamie Vardy. There will be a certain amount of pressure on the striker this season, but it is likely that he will be held back in reserve as Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho continue to lead the Foxes in their charge for European football.
However, Daka has proven quality and could seamlessly step into the starting eleven if needed. The Zambian was in excellent form throughout his four-year stay with Red Bull Salzburg, as he scored 68 goals in 125 games. That scoring record was one of the many reasons why Leicester decided to bring him in, and it will make for captivating viewing to see whether he can transfer his form from the Austrian Bundesliga to the Premier League.
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