12 August 2017

Africa: How Africa's Stars Will Influence the EPL This Season

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Photo: allafrica.com
Victor Anichebe, Victor Moses and Ighalo.

1. Victor Moses & Baba Rahman- Chelsea: It remains to be seen if Chelsea will retain Baba for the new season. The Ghanaian defender has returned from Schalke and is undergoing rehabilitation for a knee injury. Should Antonio Conte opt to keep the defender, he would be a perfect back-up for Marcos Alonso at left-wing-back. Moses is already an integral member of the side & the duo will be key assets as Chelsea look to retain their title.

2. Victor Wanyama- Tottenham Hotspur: The Kenyan powerhouse was an ever present in the heart of Spurs' midfield during the last campaign. This season will be no different as the settled Tottenham side look to go one better than last season's second place finish.

3. Mohamed Salah & Sadio Mane- Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp's men finished fourth last campaign but signaled their title ambitions for this season with the purchase of Salah from Roma. With Mane back to full fitness, Reds fans are licking their lips and dreaming of a title tilt with their African duo operating from wide.

4. Yaya Toure- Manchester City: There is no denying that Toure will be a back up option at Guardiola's title-chasing City this season. But when called upon he will rarely let his team down as was shown last season when Toure returned from the City wilderness to show he wasn't quite the spent force many had predicted.

5. Alex Iwobi- Arsenal: The Nigerian failed to kick on last season despite Arsene Wenger repeatedly stating his belief in the forward. Iwobi did show occasional glimpses of the talent that has seen him compared to his uncle Jay-Jay Okocha. But the time for him to live up to those lofty expectations has come and he needs to produce the goods consistently if Arsenal are to be in the title race this season.

6. Eric Bailly- Manchester United: Bailly established himself at the heart of the Red Devil's defence last season and will be looking to form a title winning centre back pairing with the newly arrived Victor Lindelof. With Mourinho at the helm and massive investment in the squad, United are making a serious assault the title that has eluded them since title Sir Alex Ferguson's departure.

7. Kelechi Iheanacho-Leicester City: Leicester look to have found N'golo Kante's replacement in Wilfred Ndidi and now with the arrival of Iheanacho to link up with Jamie Vardy, the Foxes will prove a formidable threat to any opposition. The aforementioned trio will also be looking to lift the 2015/2016 champions from their last season's disappointing 12th finish.

8. Andre Ayew-West Ham United: The Hammers are expected to put their new stadium wobbles of last season behind them. They have also made signings that should see the club start to fulfill more lofty ambitions than mid-table survival. The arrivals of Chicharito, Marko Arnautovic and Sead Haksabanovic will help a hopefully injury-free Ayew show his quality against even the most composed teams in the division.

9. Wilfred Bony - Manchester City: The nearly-forgotten Ivorian is still stranded at City after returning from a poor loan spell at Stoke. A move to former side Swansea City remains on the cards and perhaps could spark his goal scoring habit back to life. The 28-year-old would link up with Jordan Ayew at The Swans and that duo could prove a threat to many sides with title ambitions.

10. Wilfred Zaha - Crystal Palace: The Ivorian international can be a nightmare for any defence and with Frank De Boer at the helm this season, the Eagles fans will be expecting a much stronger campaign from Zaha and his teammates. They should cause problems for several Premier League heavyweights.

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