• Sunday, February 25, 2024
businessday logo


Top 10 most valuable African players to watch in AFCON 2023

On Saturday, the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) will begin in the Ivory Coast. Prominent players from the Premier League and top divisions in Europe are expected to compete.

Senegal won their first AFCON title in the preceding 2021 event which was hosted in Cameroon. In an exciting penalty-filled final, Senegal defeated Egypt, the seven-time winners of the competition.

African countries are currently home to some of the best football players in Europe.

Here are the top ten most valuable African players at the moment;

1. Victor Osimhen – €110 million

Osimhen, the leading scorer for Napoli and a Nigerian, is at the top of the ranking.

The current African Footballer of the Year is still the only player on the continent valued at more than €100 million, despite a minor decline in value.

If he helps the Super Eagles win the tournament, his worth will probably increase.

2. Mohamed Salah – €65 million

Mo Salah, who is ranked as the second most valuable player on the continent, is a serious contender for the Golden Ball going into the 34th AFCON.

Interestingly, he is the only player over 30 with that kind of value in the competition, so there is a lot of pressure on him to lead Egypt to success and win the AFCON trophy for the first time since 2010.

3. Achraf Hakimi – €65 million

With his remarkable achievements during Morocco’s 2022 World Cup semifinal run, Achraf Hakimi is a tournament favourite coming into the AFCON.

The PSG defender’s enormous market value as a premier right-back is a reflection of his stellar reputation in the transfer market. His tenures at Inter Milan and Dortmund add even more credence to his stellar career record.

4. Mohammed Kudus – €45 million

Kudus is one of the most dangerous players coming into the competition. The 23-year-old Ghanaian has garnered a cult following at West Ham. Without a question, Mo Kudus is an exceptional Ivory Coast talent to watch.

He scored four goals in six league games during his outstanding performance in the last month of 2023, which earned him a nomination for the December Premier League Player of the Month award.

5. Edmond Tapsoba – €40 million

The Burkina Faso defender, who is valued at almost €40 million, is among the hidden heroes of Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen team, which is dominating the German top division.

According to Transfermarkt, Tapsoba has three goals in 22 appearances across all competitions while playing in the center of defense. Tottenham Hotspur, a team in the Premier League, is reportedly considering him for a transfer.

6. Andre Onana – €40 million

Despite criticism, the Cameroonian goalie is one of Africa’s most significant players. According to the BBC, Manchester United’s substantial €55 million investment last summer is a testament to his stature.

7. Ousmane Diomande – €40 million

Diomande is well-known to Arsenal supporters since Mikel Arteta has always held the Ivorian defender in high regard. He is set to be a key player in his country’s attempt to win a third continental championship this year.

According to reports from Gooner Talk, O Jogo, a Portuguese tabloid, suggests that the Gunners have started negotiations to sign the Sporting Lisbon star this season.

8. Serhou Guirassy – €40 million

Serhou Guirassy, another center-forward from Africa who is lighting up the Bundesliga with his scorching goal-scoring streak, will be making his AFCON debut this year after changing countries to represent his parents’ nation in 2022.

The Guinean striker’s value has been directly impacted by his performance at VfB Stuttgart; if he does well at the football festival, his figures will surpass previous records.

Nigerian forward Boniface has been the talk of the Bundesliga, helping Bayer Leverkusen to an unexpected title challenge and hitting goals at the six-and-seven mark.

His climb from Bodø/Glimt, Union Saint-Gilloise, and now Leverkusen has been so rapid that it has increased both his market worth and made him a highly sought-after transfer target.

9. Nayef Aguerd – €38 million

After moving from Rennes for £30 million 18 months ago, Aguerd’s time at West Ham has been tainted by inconsistent play. Still, his recent performance just before AFCON showed some degree of consistency.

Clubs in France and Saudi Arabia have expressed interest in him after his impressive performance this season. Given that he plays for Morocco at the AFCON, his potential departure would leave a significant hole in West Ham’s defense.

10. Frank Anguissa – €35 million

Anguissa continues to be the focal point of the Indomitable Lions, the playwright connecting the whole thing. The midfielder for Napoli is at the top of his game, and a lot of his colleagues will look to him for guidance.

After the Lions finished third in 2021, he can motivate them to perform better in Cote d’Ivoire. He proved his abilities at the most recent World Cup at the age of 28.