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Football

Most shocking African transfers in football history

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Ighalo Odion. Photo: Manchester United

 

  •  Over the years, there have been African transfers that have shocked the football world
  • Some of the top players moved to clubs that no one would expect
  • For some of them, money played a motivation factor

The move down to Serie B for Cesc Fabregas was one of the most shocking African transfers in the world. We are meditating on some of the most unforeseen African players to be transferred to European clubs as a result of Como.

At this point in his career, no one envisioned the champion of the Spanish World Cup showing up in the second tier of the Italian league

On that note, we look at the most surprising African transfers in a decade.

Kevin-Prince Boateng to Barcelona 

Kevin-Prince Boateng

Kevin-Prince Boateng. Photo: Goal.com

In the winter transfer window of the 2018–19 season, Barcelona signed Boateng on loan since they were in desperate need of a goalscorer.

There was some innovative thinking behind the acquisition, even though it appeared to be an unusual fit at first glance. Boateng was flexible, could find the back of the nett, and had experience playing for some of the biggest European clubs.

However, at the time, he played for Sassuolo, and despite being well past his prime, he could not leave an impression in Catalonia during his short time there.

Mbulelo Mabizela to Tottenham Hotspur

Mabizela, like Khumalo, was another problematic Spurs acquisition from the PSL. He was bought around the same time when the North London giants had different ties with South African teams. Mabizela came from the same league as Khumalo.

Old John, much like Khumalo, has shown that he could be an effective player on the domestic scene. He went on to achieve legendary status with Mamelodi Sundowns, but he was unsuccessful with Spurs.

The move from the Premier Soccer League to the South African (PSL) was going to be a significant step up for Mabizela. However, he scored a spectacular goal in his Premier League debut against Leicester City.

Papy Djilobodji to Chelsea

Papy Djilobodji

Papy Djilobodji. Photo: Getty Images

Djilobodji was a respectable defender in Ligue 1 for Nantes, but he had not shown anything to indicate his ability to play for Chelsea.

As a result, it surprised many people when Jose Mourinho decided to bring him to Stamford Bridge in 2015 for an initial fee of £2.7 million.

The Senegalese international player only appeared for 62 seconds during a League Cup win against Walsall before moving on to Sunderland 11 months later (where he would eventually be relegated).

Gaziantep, a Turkish club, have signed him to their roster at the moment.

When asked about the move in 2020, he emphasised that he did not regret accepting the opportunity to collaborate with Lionel Messi and the other players.

Jay-Jay Okocha to Bolton Wanderers

Jay-Jay Okocha

at Bolton Wanderers. Photo: The Bolton

After a promising performance at the World Cup with Nigeria, Okocha departed PSG on a free transfer in 2002. At the time, he had a number of alternatives available to him.

As a result, it came a bit of shock when he decided to sign with the unflashy Bolton Wanderers and pursue the possibility of working together with Sam Allardyce.

In the end, it emerged as one of the most spectacular moments in the club’s history, with the Nigerian alongside the likes of Fernando Hierro and Ivan Campo, but at the moment, it was still a weird choice!

Samuel Eto’o to Anzhi Makhachkala

Samuel Eto'

Samuel Eto’o of FC Anzhi Makhachkala celebrates after scoring a goal during a match between FC Dynamo Moscow and FC Anzhi Makhachkala March 05, 2012. Photo: Getty Images

In 2011, Eto’o was at the pinnacle of his career, as evidenced by the fact that he scored two goals in Internazionale’s triumph over Palermo in the Coppa Italia final.

The previous two years, he had won the European Triple Crown with both Barcelona and Inter, making him the only player in history to accomplish this feat with two different clubs in successive seasons.

The striker had a number of options available to him regarding where he would play next.

Still, in the end, he decided to sign with Anzhi Makhachkala, a team from Dagestan that was relatively unknown at the time but was spending a lot of money in an effort to become a dominant force in European soccer.

Although the money shed some light on the forward’s motivation as he was making a nett salary of €20 million in Russia

Ighalo Odion to Manchester United 

It appeared that Ighalo’s time in the Premier League was over when he moved in 2017 from Watford to Changchun Yatai. He joined the Chinese club. This was the most shockimg among the African transfers.

Ighalo seems to have lost his way after playing a significant role in the Hornets’ promotion to the first division. He scored once in the league during the 2016–17 season, although playing in 18 matches.

Because of this, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the head coach of the Norwegian national team, made a peculiar decision to select him in the year 2020 when he needed further striking reinforcements.

 During his time with the Red Devils, he played a total of 12 games and did not score.

 

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