FEATURE: 8 African transfers that made headlines
The mid-season transfer window in European football has now closed, with teams having used the month of January to buy and sell players in order to strengthen their squads. A number of African players made moves during this time.
While some players moved in search of more playing time, others were after greener pastures or better contracts in lucrative leagues. With this in mind, Ravi Pahalwani takes a look at eight African footballers who were active during the transfer window.
Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng rejoined AC Milan on a free transfer, and will remain with the Italian Serie A club until at least the end of the current season. The midfielder played for the Rossoneri between 2010 and 2013, before a transfer to Schalke 04 in the German Bundesliga. Boateng has been without a club since May, after he was released from his Schalke contract.
Ivorian midfielder Gervinho left Italian Serie A club Roma to completed a shock move to Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune FC for a reported fee of about £ 14 million. The Cote D’Ivoire national team star reportedly decided to leave after the departure of former Roma coach Rudi Garcia, who was fired recently.
Ghana international Christian Atsu joined Spanish side Malaga on loan from Chelsea until the end of the season. The Ghanaian winger was in contact with three La Liga outfits in Malaga, Levante and Rayo Vallecano, before agreeing to play for Malaga for the rest of the current campaign. Atsu’s previous stint at Bournemouth was plagued by injury and he will now be looking to get his career back in track.
Togo star Emmanuel Adebayor signed a contract with Crystal Palace until the end of next season, putting an end to his five-month absence from the game. The striker has been without a club since September, when his deal with Tottenham Hotspur was terminated by what the player and club described as ‘mutual consent’. Watford were also interested in the striker but Crystal Palace won the race for the seasoned striker.
Arsenal signed Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny from Switzerland’s FC Basel. After sorting out the work permit and visa issues for the Pharaohs player, the club made sure that he would make his way to North London, where he already made his debut in a FA Cup tie against Burnley.
Former Nigeria international Emmanuel Emenike completed a loan deal from Turkish club Fenerbahce which will see him playing West Ham United in the English Premier League until the end of the season. The loan move was confirmed on Sunday, and will see the striker play for the Hammers until the end of the season.
Bafana Bafana striker Kermit Erasmus has completed a sensational move from South African PSL club Orlando Pirates to Rennes in the Ligue 1, signing a 30-month deal that will see him in attack for the French outfit. The 25-year-old has been in good form over the last year, and was nominated for the African Player of the Year based in Africa in 2015.
Veteran Kevin Constant signed a six-month contract with Serie A side Bologna. The deal holds an option of a further two years based on how well he does at the club. The Guinean has been a free agent since leaving Turkish club Trabzonspor in November, and as a veteran of Chievo, Genoa and AC Milan he is expected to do well in Serie A.