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Sports News of Saturday, 25 July 2020


Top Five African disappointments in La Liga this season

Baba Rahman did not impress at Mallorca Baba Rahman did not impress at Mallorca

Abdul Rahman Baba

Great things were expected of Baba this season.

He’d begun to secure regular playing time on loan at Stade de Reims last term, and there were hopes that he could build on that momentum after moving to Spain.

However, the Chelsea loanee has wholly failed to make an impression in La Liga, and ends the season with just two appearances with relegated Real Mallorca.

Baba signed for the Londoners back in 2015, but hasn’t made an appearance since the end of the 2015-16 season, with injury sustained at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations with Ghana completely derailing his career since.

Again, knee injuries have limited Baba’s impact, although former Chelsea defender Marcel Desailly recently backed the left-back to turn his fortunes around.

Lumor Agbenyenu

The player principally responsible for limiting Baba’s playing time in Spain this season is his compatriot Agyenyenu, who made 23 appearances at left-back for Mallorca as they dropped into the second tier.

The Black Stars may be contented to have enjoyed his first full season in a major European league, but on occasion he’s struggled to deal with the demands of playing against some of Europe’s finest right wingers.

While Mallorca scored more goals than six other sides, their defence was the worst in the top flight, although at least Agbenyenu signed off with a fine long-range effort in Mallorca’s last match against Osasuna.

Oghenekaro Etebo

After losing his way at Stoke City—despite some impressive performances in the English second tier—Etebo returned to Spanish football with Getafe.

He’d previously impressed in Spanish football with Las Palmas, but couldn’t rediscover his previous form as Getafe ultimately missed out on European qualification.

The Nigeria international has managed just 10 appearances since arriving in January, of which six have been starts, but has struggled to impose himself, picking up four bookings along the way.

He did find the net against Eibar last month, but injuries meant a premature end to the season, and two years on from his fine showings at the World Cup, he needs his next move to be a good one.

Faycal Fajr

Great things were expected of Fajr when he returned to Getafe last summer; he excelled with Stade Malherbe de Caen during a tricky 2018-19 campaign, and knows Spain well, having previously represented Jose Bordalas’s side.

However, despite boasting immense quality from set pieces, as well as the versatility to play across the midfield, Fajr managed just 10 league outings for the club—of which only five were from the start—during a miserable campaign.

After being directly involved in nine goals for Caen last term, he failed to chip in with either a goal or an assist in the Europa League or in La Liga this term as Getafe’s Champions League hopes faded.

Roger Assale

Ivory Coast forward Assale ended his time at Leganes with a goal—equalising late to salvage a point against Real Madrid—but the truth is that his time on Spain has been a disappointment.

He arrived on loan from Young Boys looking to help the Cucumber Growers avoid the drop, but ultimately their efforts proved futile as they were relegated on the final day.

His goal against Real was only the second he scored during his 25 appearances, and despite his underwhelming return, there’s reported interest in his services from the Turkish Super Lig.