Africa’s winners and losers in the English Premier League Season


As the curtain falls on the 2023-24 English Premier League (EPL) season, we look at how African players have significantly impacted the campaign, showcasing both brilliance and struggle.


Yoane Wissa of Brentford (right) attempts a bicycle kick when playing against Chelsea. PHOTO: Premier League, X

Yoane Wissa (Brentford) In a season where Brentford struggled to avoid relegation, Yoane Wissa emerged as a pivotal figure. The Congolese forward’s 12 goals were crucial in ensuring the Bees stayed clear of a relegation battle. With the team’s primary attackers, Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo, sidelined for significant parts of the season, Wissa’s contribution was indispensable. His remarkable performance came despite missing a month for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), where he played a vital role in DR Congo’s run to the semi-finals. At 27, Wissa has evolved from a bit-part player to a central figure in Brentford’s attack, setting the stage for potentially greater achievements next season.

Chelsea forward Nicolas Jackson. PHOTO: X

Nicolas Jackson (Chelsea) Senegalese striker Nicolas Jackson had a rollercoaster debut season at Chelsea. Despite the club’s overall inconsistency, Jackson showed glimpses of his potential. After a slow start, he found his rhythm, notably scoring a hat-trick in a chaotic victory against Tottenham. Jackson’s resurgence towards the end of the season, with four goals in Chelsea’s final five matches, provides hope for the future. His progression next season will be crucial, especially with possible changes in the managerial and squad dynamics at Stamford Bridge.

Mohammed Kudus celebrates after scoring for West Ham. PHOTO: X

Mohammed Kudus (West Ham) Ghanaian midfielder Mohammed Kudus has significantly boosted his reputation since his transfer from Ajax. After a period of adjustment, Kudus hit his stride in December and became a regular goal-scoring threat for West Ham. His 14 goals and six assists across all competitions were vital for the Hammers, even though they missed out on European football. Kudus’ trademark goal celebrations have endeared him to the fans, and with a managerial change on the horizon, his future at the club looks promising, provided he isn’t lured away by bigger clubs.

Antoine Semenyo (Bournemouth) Antoine Semenyo’s performances under Bournemouth’s new manager Andoni Iraola were a revelation. The Ghanaian forward’s relentless energy and hard-running style troubled defenses throughout the season. Scoring eight goals and proving to be a consistent starter, Semenyo justified the £10m Bournemouth paid Bristol City for his services. His durability was also noteworthy, as he featured in 33 Premier League games and 10 international matches for Ghana. Semenyo’s form has established him as a key player for Bournemouth moving forward.


Mohammed Salah of Liverpool. PHOTO: Mohammed Salah, X

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) Despite being the top-scoring African in the Premier League with 18 goals, Mohamed Salah’s season at Liverpool fell below his usual high standards. His goal tally was his lowest since joining the Reds in 2017. Salah’s form dipped notably towards the end of the season, and he was also plagued by injuries, including a hamstring problem picked up during AFCON. The season’s disappointments were compounded by a public fallout with manager Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool’s failure to challenge for the title. With the club securing Champions League football and a new manager on the way, Salah’s future remains uncertain amid interest from Saudi Arabian clubs.

Yves Bissouma of Tottenham. PHOTO: X

Yves Bissouma (Tottenham) Tottenham’s early-season promise under new manager Ange Postecoglu was soon overshadowed by inconsistency, and Yves Bissouma’s campaign mirrored this trajectory. The Mali midfielder’s season was disrupted by suspensions and a bout of malaria during AFCON. Despite starting the season strongly, Bissouma’s impact waned, and he missed the final games due to a knee injury. Spurs’ failure to secure Champions League football adds further uncertainty to his future, especially with the national team duties looming.

Manchester United midfielder Sofyan Amrabat. PHOTO:X

Sofyan Amrabat (Manchester United) Moroccan midfielder Sofyan Amrabat’s loan move to Manchester United was expected to bolster the team’s midfield options. However, his season turned into a disappointment, with only 10 league starts and United finishing a dismal eighth. Amrabat’s struggles culminated in a red card during Morocco’s unexpected early exit at AFCON. As United look to rebuild, the decision to make Amrabat’s deal permanent remains in doubt.

Issa Kabore. PHOTO: X

Issa Kabore (Luton Town) Issa Kabore’s loan spell at Luton Town from Manchester City was marred by injuries and a lack of impact. The Burkinabe right wing-back managed 21 starts and provided two assists, but his efforts were insufficient to prevent Luton’s relegation. Kabore’s future at City is uncertain, and another loan or permanent move might be on the cards.

As the dust settles on the 2023-24 EPL season, African players have left an indelible mark, with stories of triumph and disappointment shaping the narrative. With the transfer window and managerial changes imminent, their journeys promise to be closely watched in the coming months.

Source: BBC

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