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Sports News of Saturday, 17 October 2015

Source: ghanasoccernet.com

Andre among ten favourites for African Player award

Andre Ayew Andre Ayew

CAF has announced the 37 nominees for this year’s African Player of the Year award – let’s have a look at the 10 favourites for the prize.

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure is once again among the favourites, having won the award for the past four years. If he defends his title, he would become the first player to lift the prize five times.

He captained Ivory Coast to their Afcon 2015 triumph and was named in the Team of the Tournament. He didn’t reach the heights of the previous campaign at club level, but seems to be back to his best since the start of the 2015/16 season.

Let’s take a look at which nine players could rival Toure for the award:

Andre Ayew – He was the top goalscorer at Afcon 2015 and finished as a runner-up with Ghana. In addition, he shined for Marseille last season and has had a good start to life in the Premier League with Swansea.

Christian Atsu – He was the Player of the Tournament at Afcon and was also a runner-up with Ghana. However, he struggled to convince at club level, having been loaned out to Everton and Bournemouth by Chelsea.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – The striker has had a brilliant year for his club and became the first Bundesliga player to score in all eight opening games. However, his national team is just too weak to help him to write more headlines with Gabon.

Riyad Mahrez – The midfielder has been superb for Algeria and Leicester. Mahrez is currently rated as best performer in Europe by WhoScored.com.

Sadio Mane – The Senegalese has been in fine form for Southampton over the past two seasons and has even been linked with a move to Manchester United.

Serge Aurier – He was part of Ivory Coast’s Afcon-winning team and was also named in the Team of the Tournament. He has also secured a first-team spot at Paris Saint-Germain in France, which is no easy feat these days.

Sofiane Feghouli – The Algerian has convinced at national-team level and was instrumental in Valencia’s successful La Liga campaign last season.

Yacine Brahimi – Last year’s BBC African Player of the Year has continued his fine form for Porto and Algeria, and seems destined to join one of Europe’s top clubs after again shining in the early stages of this year’s Champions League.

Yannick Bolasie – The skilful winger has been superb for Crystal Palace in the Premier League and seems destined for bigger things. However, his Congolese national team is just not strong enough to help him get deserved recognition on an international level.

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