African wonderkids who could make a big move this summer

By Isaac Chukwurah

 

Boubakary Soumare

Boubakary Soumare

Another France youth international, Soumare could yet represent Senegal at international level, and, at club level, appears destined for the pinnacle of the European game.

Rumours moves to Chelsea and Manchester United in the January window didn’t materialise for the ‘new Pogba, but surely he’s destined for grander things than LOSC Lille.

Soumare is comfortable with the ball at his feet, beats opponents with ease, and has already demonstrated his quality in the Champions League.

Newcastle United reportedly failed with a £35 million bid during the window, and could the Magpies, or indeed Arsenal, Liverpool or United, return for the midfielder’s services during the summer?

Samuel Chukwueze 

 

Samuel Chukwueze

 According to reports in the British press, a trio of Premier League heavyweights are keeping very close tabs on Villarreal wideman Chukwueze.

Like Osimhen, he’s part of a new Nigerian generation of exciting talent, and he’s already demonstrated his class in the Spanish top flight where he’s become the bane of opposition full-backs.

It would be fascinating to see how he’d progress under either Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp at Manchester City or Liverpool respectively, while he’d be a natural fit for Frank Lampard’s young Chelsea side as a long-term replacement for Pedro.

For £60 million, Villarreal’s asking price, according to the British media, he could be a bargain.

Eduardo Camavinga

Eduardo Camavinga

The future of the Stade Rennais wonderkid has emerged as one of the most fascinating subplots of the Ligue 1 season.

The midfielder has excelled this term, building on his handful of appearances during the last campaign to emerge as one of the brightest prospects in Europe.

Defensively, he’s averaged 4.4 tackles-per-match in the French top tier this term—despite being only 17—and also uses the ball with the maturity of a much older player.

Rennes sacked their president last week—reportedly as a consequence of negotiations with Real Madrid regarding Camavinga’s future—and it remains to be seen if they can maintain their Champions League charge.

Angola-born Camavinga will surely feature in the UCL before too long, be it at Rennes, Real, or elsewhere.

Victor Osimhen 

Victor Osimhen

Another France-based starlet, 21-year-old Osimhen is enjoying a breakout season at Lille after being recruited as the replacement for Arsenal-bound Nicolas Pepe.

After adapting quickly to life in Ligue 1, Osimhen has 12 goals in 23 league outings to date, putting him joint-fifth on the league’s scoring charts.

His fine form has seen him linked with a host of heavyweights, with Liverpool, Real Madrid and Barcelona among those linked with his signature.

In January, he announced his commitment to Les Dogues, but that loyalty may again be tested in the summer.

Dayot Upamecano

Dayot Upamecano

 One of the outstanding young defenders in the world game, Upamecano excelled again at the weekend, delivering a man-of-the-match display as RasenBallsport Leipzig held Bayern Munich 0-0.

The centre-back was influential as title hopefuls Leipzig frustrated the reigning champions, and he continues to improve week on week in the Bundesliga.

Upamecano is eligible for Guinea-Bissau, but expect him to represent France at senior level, having already featured for the U-21s.

Arsenal are understood to be keen on the centre-back, and sources in Germany have reported that the Gunners failed with a €60 million approach in mid-2019.

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