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African All Stars

Senna hoping for long Chukwueze stay at Villarreal

2:25 AM SGT 4/5/22
Dia, Chukwueze
The former Spain international rates the Africans highly this season, while hoping they remain with the Yellow Submarine for more seasons to come

Villarreal legend Marcos Senna wants the Yellow Submarine’s African players to remain at the Estadio de la Ceramica for several years to come, while singling out Nigeria's Samuel Chukwueze for special praise.

Nigeria international Chukwueze, Senegal’s Boulaye Dia, Algeria’s Aissa Mandi, Cote d’Ivoire’s Serge Aurier as well as Netherlands international of Nigerian descent Arnaut Danjuma have been in fine form for the Spanish heavyweights in the 2021-22 campaign.

Aside from their strong contributions to the team in the Spanish elite division, the quintet has also played significant roles as Unai Emery’s men continue chasing the Champions League diadem this season.

While confirming that the Africans are critical to the club’s European title ambitions, former Spain international Senna, who represented Villarreal between 2002–2013 and helped them win two Uefa Intertoto Cups ( 2003, and 2004) has been impressed with their displays in the current campaign.

“I think the African players especially [Samuel] Chukwueze are performing very well so far this season, alongside the other player [of African descent] who joined them at the start of the season [Arnaut] Danjuma,” Senna told GOAL during a media parley organised by La Liga.

“We are very happy with them and I hope they can continue to make positive contributions to the team."

Senna also outlined his desire to see Chukwueze and the club's other African players enjoy long tenures with the Yellow Submarine.

“Ultimately, I hope they stay with us for a few more years to come," he concluded.

Apart from Chukwueze, who was part of Emery’s squad that won last season's Europa League - after defeating Manchester United in the final inside Stadion Gdansk - Danjuma, Mandi, Dia and Aurier are all new arrivals this season.

They joined the club at the start of the 2021-22 campaign from Bournemouth, Real Betis, Reims, and Tottenham Hotspur respectively.

Only Dia was named in Villarreal's starting XI for their second leg against the Reds in front of their own fans on Tuesday evening.

Despite losing 2-0 in the first leg played at Anfield courtesy of an own goal by Pervis Estupinan and Sadio Mane’s effort, Emery’s men will still fancy their chances of making it to the final where they could square up against Manchester City or Real Madrid if they progress.