Sports News of Monday, 11 September 2017
With the transfer window now being closed, a few more stars with African heritage, who snubbed playing for African countries, have joined Premier League clubs in England – including this window’s most expensive buy by an English side.
Manchester United superstar, who is still the most expensive Premier League player, is the perfect example for a group of stars who were lost by African countries.
The 24-year-old was born in France to Guinean parents and while his two older brothers Florentin and Mathias are both representing the birth-country of their parents, Paul has played for France from youth level.
His new teammate Romelu Lukaku was the most expensive transfer on an English club after joining the Red Devils for €84.7 million (R1.3 billion). The striker was born in Belgium to Congolese parents and while his father, Roger, who was also a professional footballer, represented Zaire (now Democratic Replublic Congo), the United striker decided to don the Belgium shirt.
Manchester City’s new left-back Benjamin Mendy, who joined the club for €57.5 million (R887 million), is another player with African roots. The 23-year-old was born in France but has Senegalese heritage. However, he decided to represent France and made his senior debut in March 2017.
Similar to Mendy, new Chelsea star Tiemoue Bakayoko made his France debut in March this year, snubbing the chance to play for Ivory Coast, the home country of his parents. The Blues’s second new signing with African heritage is Antonio Rudiger. The defender was born in Germany but would have been able to represent Sierra Leone, his mother’s homeland. However, he opted to play for Germany and recently won the FIFA Confederations Cup with Joachim Low’s team.
Swansea pulled off one of the biggest surprises of the transfer window by luring Renato Sanches from Bayern Munich to England’s top flight. The 2016 UEFA European Championship Young Player of the Tournament could have run out for Cape Verde, the birth country of his mother, but decided to play for Portugal, where he was born himself.
Mamadou Sakho, who joined Crystal Palace from Liverpool, was born to Senegalese parents, but is another player with African heritage running out for France.