African footballers have always brought plenty of joy to their clubs and national teams. The continent has delivered plenty of figures that have played very good wherever they went and took their national sides to play for big things and shock the world in more than one occasion.
Right now there are big names from Africa that are superstars in European football and behind those, there are some young players that are eager to take the big stage and become superstars in the future. Today we’re going to discover who are the best youngsters in Africa at this moment; players who are looking to become the next George Weah or Samuel Eto’o and be the rulers of football in the future.
Here are the 10 best youngsters in African football.
Honorable Mention: Allan Okello
10. Cheick Doucoure
Cheick Doucoure is one of the fanciest players in Ligue 2 this season. He helped his side, RC Lens to finish 5th this term in the French second tier. Doucoure was an important piece in Lens campaign that ended up with the club one goal away from being promoted to the Ligue 1 in the final game of the playoff.
This Malian defensive midfielder knows how to control the ball with his feet, has great ability to break lines and his passing skills are impressive. It’s only a matter of time before we see this talented midfielder playing in a bigger team. Perhaps he will follow the footsteps of former Lens player Raphael Varane and sign with one of the best clubs in the old continent.
9. Sofyan Amrabat
Sofyan Amrabat’s career has been filled with ups and downs, but this Dutch-born Moroccan player is one that will turn a lot of heads to him in the future. He started his senior career with Dutch side Utrecht, taking them to a historical 4th place back 2017. At that moment it looked like he was ready to play for a bigger team.
Right now he plays for Belgian giants Brugge, trying to recover his best version, but there is no doubt that this guy has the talent to be one of the best African midfielders in the future. Amrabat is one of the leaders of the talented Morocco national team alongside Hakim Ziyech and Mehdi Benatia, confirming he hasn’t shown everything he can do in Europe.
8. Wilfred Ndidi
Wilfred Ndidi plays for English side Leicester City and has already been linked to the big teams in Premier League, including newly-crowned Champions League winners Liverpool. He landed in Leicester to replace N'golo Kante and even though many people think Kante is better than him, Ndidi is a very talented player who can do a lot of stuff on the pitch.
He is a tall player, which facilitates defending his team both in the air and on the ground, becoming the leader of Leicester City’s midfield this season. The Nigerian footballer is on the radar of plenty of teams in English football and this summer he might be leaving the Foxes to play for a bigger club.
7. Kelechi Iheanacho
Another player from Nigeria, no wonder why they are the best national side in Africa right now. This time we’re talking about a very talented striker who can brag about his past as a Manchester City player and how he left the Citizens purposely to sign with Leicester.
Albeit Iheanacho’s season wasn’t precisely the best, this guy remains as one of the most exciting youngsters in African and European football. Maybe next season he’ll improve his displays, but no one can say he doesn’t have the conditions to be a player of the elite.
6. Amadou Diawara
Amadou Diawara has been one of the best surprises for Italian side Napoli in the last two seasons or so, gaining more and more recognition across Serie A as one of the best youngsters in the league.
This Guinean midfielder has had a curious career, to say the least, as he started playing in Serie C back in 2014 and ever since that his career has only gotten better. He’s only 22 at this moment and is already earning the attention of some important European clubs which will try to steal this gem away from Napoli.
5. Ismaila Sarr
Stade Rennais have become famous for discovering and developing gems in recent times. Just like they introduced Ousmane Dembele to the world a couple of seasons ago, they have done the same with Ismaila Sarr this year, a very talented winger that is already on the radar of some of the best teams in Europe.
This season the Senegalese winger scored 13 goals and dished 6 assists in all competitions in 50 games with Rennes while helping his team to win the Coupe de France against the all-powerful Paris Saint Germain via penalty shootout with Sarr scoring the one that gave his team the title. The future is bright for this one, as teams like Arsenal and Leicester are reported to be interested in his services. We’ll be hearing a lot about this guy in the future.
4. Achraf Hakimi
This guy is expected to do big things in the future since he’s only 20 years old and is already part of arguably the most important team in the world, Real Madrid. This Moroccan player is currently on loan in Borussia Dortmund but is only a matter of time before we see him shining with Los Blancos.
Hakimi is credited as the first Moroccan player to have won a Champions League. Albeit he wasn’t part of the Real Madrid’s 2018/19 Champions League squad, he did receive a medal. This right-back has a very good future ahead of him and we already can see his conditions with Dortmund. This year he helped the German side to end the season as the Bundesliga runners-up behind giants Bayern Munich.
3. Franck Kessie
Franck Kessie is one of the most interesting midfielders in Serie A right now. He took the league by storm a couple of seasons ago with Atalanta, earning a lot of attention both in Italy and overseas.
Right now he plays with AC Milan, where his level keeps improving, hoping to help the Rossoneri to go back to their best form and be the competitive team they knew how to be once. Kessie is a very elegant player, very powerful and has an incredible technique, things that made him a very prominent footballer for the future.
2. Andre Onana
Perhaps Onana is a goalkeeper, unlike any other player on this list, but he is already one of the best in Europe and probably the most successful player of this top. Onana is the starting goalkeeper of Dutch side Ajax and this season was just marvelous for him.
The Cameroonian saved his team in several occasions, helping them to reach important stages in Champions League and win the Eredivisie and the KNVB Cup with one of the most talented rosters Ajax have had in history, featuring Onana as number 1. Just like his teammates in Ajax, Onana is expected to leave the team and go play for one European giant, we just don’t know which one.
1. Alex Iwobi
This Nigerian player is one of the most exciting assets in the world right now, displaying all the best of his game with English side Arsenal, where Iwobi is becoming more and more important. The Nigerian forward is a great dribbler, a guy with plenty of intelligence who doesn’t get scared when big things come his way.
Iwobi has been great with Arsenal, is a breath of fresh air for their fans and a very good figure in the Nigerian national side. Albeit he has more things to be known for, many football fans remember Alex for the time he scored two goals against powerful Argentina and Lionel Messi.
This guy is ready to take the big stage and became a huge referent of African football as he is the best African youngster at this moment.