African football stars lighting up the Serie A season

9 March 2023

African football stars lighting up the Serie A season

This weekend sees two Nigerian stars come up against each other when Victor Osimhen and Ademola Lookman take the field when Napoli take on Atalanta, streaming live on Saturday, 11 March on Showmax Pro, courtesy of SuperSport.

While those two have been topping the goalscoring charts at their clubs, there have been plenty of other African stars that have been impressing in Italy this season.

Starting with those two, here are a few other names to look out for in Serie A as we approach the business end of the season.

Victor Osimhen

Is there a more sought-after player than the Nigerian striker right now?

He’s top of the Serie A goalscoring charts with 19 goals playing for Napoli who are 15 points clear at the top. Not only that, he’s two goals short of the African record in a Serie A season (held by Samuel Eto’o) and three goals off the African record for all-time Serie A goals (held by George Weah).

It’s a time to enjoy watching Osimhen play for Napoli. When the season is done, expect a Premier League bidding war by many clubs looking for his services.

Ademola Lookman

After a nomadic footballing career in the last few years, the Nigerian seems to have found a home at Atalanta playing for a side that pride themselves on their attacking football.

He’s contributed 12 goals (third on the Serie A top scorers list) and has cemented himself as a key player as the club look to return to European football.

As it stands, he’ll be playing Europa League football next season. With a bit of luck, that might even be upgraded to the UEFA Champions League.

Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa

Every team needs a midfielder to hold it all together and the Cameroonian has been just that for Napoli as they make a spectacular charge to their first title in 33 years.

It’s a far cry from his time at Fulham where he got caught up in a yo-yo period of promotion and relegation before being loaned out to Italy. Now he’s in a position to emulate the likes of Samuel Eto’o and become a Cameroonian Serie A title-winning hero.

M’Bala Nzola

Spezia are three points clear of the relegation zone. To put M’Bala Nzola’s importance to the club in perspective, if you remove all the goals he’s scored this season, they would be 10 points below safety.

After a few seasons in plying his trade in the lower leagues of Italy, the Angolan has been in the top flight for three seasons now and has been key at a club that are consistently in the thick of relegation battles.

He’s currently on 11 goals for the season. He needs just one more to make it his best ever Serie A season.

Boulaye Dia

On loan from Villarreal, the Senegalese forward is becoming a cult hero in south-western Italy.

Not only have his goals been important for Salernitana, some of them have been spectacular too as the club look to improve on last year’s finish of 17th.

He was a key member of the Teranga Lions squad that won AFCON last year and his career is going from strength to strength. Everton have taken an interest in him recently, but it seems likely that Salernitana will exercise their option of making his move permanent in the off-season.

David Okereke

As another Nigerian making an impression in the Serie A, David Okereke has been a bright spark in a struggling Cremonese side.

After getting a taste of Serie A last season on loan at Venezia, Okereke ended up moving permanently away from Brugge and has been a regular starter for the newly-promoted team.

Cyriel Dessers

After juggling between clubs in Belgium and the Netherlands, Dessers took the opportunity for a new challenge at Cremonese and become yet another Nigerian forward in Italy’s top flight.

Dessers impressed off the bench with two goals off the bench against Sassuolo and will look to become a regular starter as he also looks to add to the four appearances he’s made for the Super Eagles.

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