Future stars of African football

Africa is without a doubt a hotbed of top-tier footballers. It has been said that one day, an African nation will win the world cup. If a single country is able to develop a good core of quality players at the same time, this could happen in the near future. We’ve taken a look at some of the top African youngsters to see who the next breakout star could be to emulate Drogba or Toure.

Youssouph Badji

When it comes to betting on someone to be a breakout star, it’s almost always strikers that offer the most potential. Look at the best players from Africa over the years, it’s often been a striker. Drogba, Etoo and Weah are just three legends that played in this position. They were of such a high quality that they managed to win gamblers serious amounts of money due to the sheer number of winning goals they scored. This young man is someone else who has the potential to terrorise defenders and sportsbooks alike in the future.

Built like a young Drogba, Badji has been a slow burner so far. Still a teenager, he made his move to Bruge and has seen his minutes limited to being an impact player so far. However, when he has played, his potential has been obvious. There are some top players in front of him for a spot at Bruge, but he has time on his side and has the ability to become one of the best strikers in the world.

Mohamed Camara

Hailing from Mali, Camara seems to be taking one of the most popular European routes to the top at the moment. It makes sense for him to want to escape African football as the big money is in European leagues, and African football can sometimes be a little bit controversial. The move to Europe led to Camara getting a place at RB Salzburg. While the Red Bull model is sometimes looked down on, there is no denying that it is a solid pathway to playing at the very top.

If he keeps developing at his current rate, then Camara could well become one of the most sought after midfielders in the world within the next few years. His skill set is mainly focused on his ability to win the ball and then keep it, but he is also surprisingly athletic and very strong. Camara is a name that could be dominating the defensive midfield conversation for the next decade.

Lassina Traore

 Traore had one of the best educations in football after advancing through the Ajax academy. It was in the academy that his development really took hold. Traore has the ability to become one of the best African footballers in the world if he keeps up this trajectory. Last season was his final season with Ajax and he scored seven goals in 12 games. At the age of 20, this is a phenomenal scoring rate. He also added almost as many assists to that, showing that he’s not just a goal scorer, but he has the ability to create as well.

This earned him a move to Shakhtar Donetsk. He carried on his impressive form slamming in six goals in seven games. At such a young age, it will be no surprise to see Traore move to one of the larger European leagues. In fact, his cousin Bertrand already plays in the Premier League with Aston Villa, so a move to England could be on the horizon. His size and ability on the ball mean that the physical English league would be perfect for him to move to the next level.

Ismael Bennacer

It might feel strange to talk about Bennacer at the same time as the other players on this list. He is slightly older than them after all. However, it’s worth remembering that Bennacer is just 23-years-old, even though he seems to have been around for a long time. It took him a while to get started, as during his early career at Arsenal he was shunted around a little bit and not really utilised how he should have been. He decided for the benefit of his career that it was best he move on so that he could play regular football. It was when he made a permanent move that his quality really shone through.

Bennacer’s performances for Empoli earned him a big move to AC Milan. Here, he shone even more. The sky’s the limit for this young man and if he keeps on developing. He could well become a star for the Algerian national team.

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