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African All Stars

Top Five: Potential African breakout stars of 2022

21:56 IST 04/01/2022
AS Roma of Ghana and striker Felix Afena-Gyan.
Which of the continent’s relatively unknown stars could light up the year?

  • Felix Afena-Gyan Roma Spezia Serie A 202122

    Potential breakout stars of 2022

    The New Year only just got underway but some unknown names will be desperate to leave their mark on 2022.

    In this feature, GOAL consider some African starlets who could make the year their own.

  • Rangers and Nigeria defender Calvin Bassey.

    Calvin Bassey

    Admittedly, the Rangers man is not a new kid on the block.

    However, the versatile 22-year-old, who came on in leaps and bounds in the final months of 2021, could be in for a splendid 2022.

    Favoured by new ‘Gers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Bassey, capable of playing at left-back and centre-back could have a big year under the Dutchman.

    Still uncapped by the Super Eagles, the youngster will back himself to break into the West African nation’s side, especially owing to the defensive issues that have surfaced of late.

  • Afena-Gyan Roma

    Felix Afena-Gyan

    The Ghana teenager netted a brace in only his third Serie A appearance at Genoa to gain some popularity.

    Be that as it may, the 18-year-old AS Roma starlet remains an unknown quantity outside Italy.

    With Jose Mourinho seemingly interested in Afena-Gyan’s progress, the youngster could have a breakthrough year in Rome or on loan—the latter owing to Tammy Abraham being the attacking spearhead.

  • Pape Matar Sarr Tottenham GFX

    Pape Matar Sarr

    While NextGen star Sarr has gained increased following in the last months, he remains an unknown quantity outside Ligue 1.

    The Senegal teenager completes his Tottenham Hotspur move in the summer and will back himself to impress the demanding Antonio Conte.

    If the 19-year-old succeeds, Premier League fans could come to admire the all-action midfielder in the second half of 2022.

  • Mohamed Bayo

    Mohamed Bayo

    Despite being 23, Bayo had never played top flight football until this season.

    Nevertheless, the Guinea international has been a shining light for promoted Clermont Foot, scoring nine times in his debut Ligue 1 season.

    With the frontman in Syli Nationale’s Africa Cup of Nations squad, African supporters could witness the frontman’s quality first-hand at the finals.

    It would set the tone for a continuation of the striker’s rather late rise to prominence, and perhaps precipitate a bigger move in the New Year.

  • Kamaldeen Sulemana Stade Rennes 2021-22

    Kamaldeen Sulemana

    Little was known about the Ghanaian before this season but the wide attacker has grown in his first year at Stade Rennais.

    Still 19, Sulemana’s ability on the ball and aggressive ball carrying make him a menace to defenders who often struggle to deal with his directness.

    Indeed, it is no surprise only two players in Ligue 1 are outdoing the forward’s volume of successful dribbles.

    Included in Ghana’s final Afcon squad, more observers will get a look at the attacker at the imminent continental showpiece.