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Arsenal’s Nketiah is a good addition for Bristol City – Dasilva

Former Chelsea youth product believes the Anglo-Ghanaian forward will be a good fit for the Robins

Bristol City left-back Jay Dasilva has described Eddie Nketiah as a “good addition” should the Robins decide to bring him to Ashton Gate.

The 20-year old Arsenal forward was recalled back from his loan spell at Leeds United after making 19 competitive appearances for the Whites, scoring five goals.

Nketiah has been linked with other Championship clubs, with the likelihood he spends the second half of the season on loan in search of more minutes on the pitch having played a total of 663 minutes at Elland Road.

“I’ve played with him [Nketiah] and against him in the youth ages and England set-up,” Dasilva told Bristol Live.

“He’s a good player, I like him, he’s a friend of mine.

“If he did come here, I’m sure it would be a good addition to the side.”

Kasey Palmer is another Bristol player Nketiah has a close relationship with and has reportedly asked him about life at Ashton Gate.

Dasilva has however stated he has not had words with the Anglo-Ghanaian.

“Not about the transfer, no, I try and stay away from all that,” he said.

“I haven’t spoken to him about it.”


Jesse Sekidika: Nigerian winger joins Onyekuru in Galatasaray

The Nigerian Forward has signed a long-term contract with the Turk Telekom Stadı outfit after undergoing a successful medical check

Turkish Super Lig giants Galatasaray have announced the signing of Jesse Sekidika on a four-and-half-year deal.

The forward played in the youth team of Stoke City and Benfica before joining Napredak Krusevac in 2016, where he helped Napredak to secure promotion to the Serbian top-flight.

After leaving the Serbian outfit, Sekidika teamed up with Turkish TFF First League side Eskisehirspor last year.

On Thursday, the 23-year-old signed for the Turkish champions on a long-term deal after only recently terminating his contract with Eskisehirspor.

Galatasaray president Mustafa Cengiz believes the Nigerian winger will help his side achieve more success.

“Jesse, is a footballer who is in line with our strategic and rejuvenated policy,” Cengiz told the club website.

“We believe that he will always take part in the struggle to carry the flag of Galatasaray to the top as a team player.”

Reacting to his signing, Sekidika said: “I came to a very large club. I am very happy. I will use this great opportunity. Galatasaray was a place I always wanted.”

The winger will link up with his compatriot Henry Onyekuru, who returned to the side on loan from Monaco this January, as well as Algeria’s Sofiane Feghouli and Ivory Coast’s Michael Seri.Sekidika could make his debut for his new club when they take on Rizespor in a Cup tie on January 15.

Etebo: On-loan Stoke City midfielder looking to start fresh for the new year at Getafe.

The Nigeria international is looking forward to a new challenge away from the potters to the Spanish top-flight Getafe

Oghenekaro Etebo has expressed his delight to start a new chapter with La Liga side Getafe after leaving Stoke City.

The Super Eagles star completed a loan switch from the Championship side to the Coliseum Alfonso Perez outfit, with the Spanish club having an option of signing him permanently.

Etebo, who was a consistent performer for the Potters last season, endured a difficult time with Stoke this term before his departure, as he found game time limited.

Following his successful loan move, the midfielder has taken to the social media express his readiness for his new challenge while appreciating his supporters.

“New chapter! So happy to start my New Year with a great team Getafe,” Etebo posted on Instagram.

“Also want to use this opportunity to appreciate my fans for their effort and support.”

The 24-year-old midfielder could make his debut for Getafe when they take on Badalona in a Cup tie on Saturday.

Manchester City’s Mahrez wins African Goal of the Year for AFCON stunner

Josh Thomas

The Algerian attacker has taken home the award for a sensational free-kick that helped his country to a dramatic late victory in July

Riyad Mahrez’s injury-time free-kick for Algeria against Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final has been named the African Goal of the Year for 2019. 

With scores locked at 1-1 heading into the fifth minute of added time, the Manchester City star stepped up to take a free-kick from just outside the box and curled it powerfully into the top left corner. 

A makeshift Nigerian wall that even saw one player lie down in an attempt to limit Mahrez’s options could do nothing to stop the stunning effort that sealed Algeria’s spot in the final where they went on to beat Senegal 1-0. 

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Mahrez ended the tournament with three goals to his name but his decisive strike against Nigeria has now rightly gone down in the history books. 

#RiyadMahrez wins the 2019 African Goal of the Year for his stunning free-kick for Algeria at #AFCON

While Liverpool’s Sadio Mane was voted as the African Player of the Year, Mahrez finished a respectable third, behind Mohamed Salah, and was also included in Africa’s best XI. 

Taking to social media after the award’s ceremony, the Manchester City star apologised for not attending, joking he’s already set his sights on beating Mane to the main award in 2020. 

“Congratulations to Sadio for his trophy well deserved and sorry I couldn’t come but I had to start scoring for the 2020 trophy,” Mahrez wrote on Twitter

Manchester United 1-3 Manchester City: Final in sight for Guardiola as Bernardo Silva inspires victory

Bernardo Silva inspired Manchester City to an emphatic win over Manchester United, putting them on course for another EFL Cup final.

Manchester City have one foot in a third consecutive EFL Cup final after dispatching Manchester United 3-1 in the first leg of the semi-final at Old Trafford.

Beaten 2-1 by their local rivals in the Premier League a month ago, Pep Guardiola sprung a tactical surprise by starting with no recognised striker in a strong-looking line-up.

The move proved inspired as City tore through a United defence that was missing the injured Harry Maguire, with Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez and an Andreas Pereira own goal putting them 3-0 up at the break.

Marcus Rashford got a goal back to give United a glimpse of hope ahead of the second leg in three weeks, but a first final since they won the competition in 2017 already looks beyond them.

After a cagey opening, Silva put City ahead in emphatic fashion, driving away from Fred and unleashing a ferocious strike from 25 yards that left David de Gea with no chance.

United had City on the ropes in the first half-hour of the league meeting at the Etihad Stadium, but Guardiola’s side were firmly in control and largely untroubled by the threat of the counter-attack.

Their grip on the tie was strengthened 33 minutes in, when Victor Lindelof could not cut out Silva’s throughball and Mahrez had time to round De Gea and finish.

A miserable first half for United got worse five minutes later, when the ball deflected off Pereira and into the net after Kevin De Bruyne left Phil Jones on the turf.

De Gea had to make a smart save with his right foot to stop Mahrez from adding a fourth, although City mostly eased off after the restart, and that relative complacency did allow United a lifeline.

De Bruyne’s loose pass to Rodri was closed down by Angel Gomes, Mason Greenwood raced forward and played in Rashford to slot the ball beneath Claudio Bravo, giving the Red Devils something to hold onto ahead of the second leg.

Kwadwo Asamoah hails Inter Milan’s first victory of 2020

The Ghanaian wing-back has taken to social media to commend his teammates for securing the maiden win of the new year @asabob20

Kwadwo Asamoah has praised his Inter Milan teammates for sealing a “Great win” away to Napoli in the Serie A on Monday.

The top-flight went on a two-week Christmas break and the Nerazzurri came back in style with a 3-1 win over the Partenopei, the goals coming from usual suspects Romelu Lukaku (brace) and Lautaro Martinez.

The victory sees Inter tied on points with Juventus at the top of the standings, but are placed second by virtue of the Bianconeri having a better head-to-head record.

“The best way to start 2020! Great win guys!” Asamoah posted on Twitter.

The 31-year-old Ghana international continues to remain sidelined with a knee problem.

African football transfers: January’s Done Deals

As ever, African players are at the heart of the big moves across the January transfer window
Henry Onyekuru
Nigeria, AS Monaco > Galatasaray, Loan
Chisom Egbuchulam
Nigerian, Suwon FC > Meizhou Hakka, Undisclosed
Badou Ndiaye
SenegalStoke City > Trabzonspor, Loan
Yassine Benrahou
Moroccan, Bordeaux > Nimes, Loan


Ronaldo joins Sanchez in exclusive hat-trick club after first Serie A treble

The 34-year-old shows no sign of slowing down as he adds to his ever-growing list of goalscoring achievements

Cristiano Ronaldo continues to write his name in the record books after beginning 2020 with a hat-trick for Juventus in their 4-0 win against Cagliari in Serie A on Monday.

His second-half treble in Turin means he becomes just the second player to score a Serie A hat-trick, a La Liga hat-trick and a Premier League hat-trick this century, after Alexis Sanchez.

Sanchez achieved this feat when he scored a hat-trick for Arsenal in a 5-2 win against Leicester at the King Power Stadium in September 2015, having previously hit trebles for Barcelona and Udinese.

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Ronaldo, of course, hit league hat-tricks for Manchester United and Real Madrid prior to his effort for the Bianconeri at Allianz Stadium.

After a goalless first half, Ronaldo opened the scoring four minutes after the restart before doubling Juve’s lead from the penalty spot midway through the second period.

The 34-year-old then turned provider by setting up Gonzalo Higuain to make it 3-0 with eight minutes remaining. The former Manchester United and Real Madrid man then completed his hat-trick a minute later to wrap-up a thumping win.

It was the Portugal forward’s 36th league hat-trick of his career – no player has scored more in Europe’s big five leagues since 2008. That includes his great rival Lionel Messi, who is second on the list with 34, while Luiz Suarez is a distant third with 16.

In total, Ronaldo has now scored 56 hat-tricks for club and country, with his ninth treble for Portugal against Lithuania in November equalling the international record for most hat-tricks held by Sweden’s Sven Rydell.

Ronaldo’s opening goal also meant he became the first player to score at least one goal in one of Europe’s top five leagues in each of the last 18 years, stretching all the way back to his first goal for Manchester United against Portsmouth in November 2003.

There are only two other players currently active who can match this feat – 38-year-old Real Betis forward Joaquin and 41-year-old Werder Bremen striker Claudio Pizarro.

Onyekuru: Monaco forward returns to Galatasaray on loan

The Nigeria forward has returned to Turkey to spend the rest of season with the Lions after struggling for playing time

Galatasaray have completed the signing of Henry Onyekuru on loan from Monaco until the end of the 2019-20 season.

The 22-year-old joined the Red and Whites from Everton in June but struggled to establish himself at the club, playing just four Ligue 1 games with his last outing dating back to September.

Last season, Onyekuru helped Galatasaray win a domestic treble inTurkey – Super Lig title, Turkish Cup and Super Cup – with a return of 16 goals in 44 games across all competitions.

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Onyekuru will be looking to revive his career at Galatasaray and help Fatih Terim’s side fight for European football qualification as they are currently placed seventh in the Super Lig table.

I thought coach Amuneke didn’t like me – Nigeria star Osimhen

The 21-year-old recalled some moments during his first international outing and how the coach got the best out of him

Lille star Victor Osimhen revealed former Nigeria youth coach Emmanuel Amuneke deserves half of the success he has had in his career because of the way he got the best out of him.

Amuneke took Osimhen to the 2015 Fifa U17 World Cup in Chile where the forward heralded himself to the world by winning the Golden Boot and Silver Ball awards after scoring 10 goals and laying two assists in the competition.

Prior to the outing which secured Nigeria’s fifth U17 World Cup title, the Lille striker had a tough time with the Barcelona forward which nearly made him abandon the camps training but it has made him a better player now.

Editors’ Picks

“I would rewind to when I joined the U17s and when I first went to the camp. In my own mentality, I felt the coach didn’t like me. Every time, he would speak to me and yell at me on the pitch. For me, I thought maybe he was making me suffer,” Osimhen told NFF media.

“There was a time I wanted to leave the camp, I spoke to the coordinator and he told me to be calm that the coach knew what he was doing.

“For me, I think when you have chosen this path, you have to be disciplined. Discipline is the first thing, whether you have a coach or you don’t have a coach guiding you, I think discipline is the first thing. And I am really happy with what I went through with coach Emmanuel Amuneke.

“Everything I am today, everything I would be in the future, I attribute almost half of my success to him. Whatever I have achieved, he really set my path, he made me understand life isn’t all about talent, you have to work hard, you have to be disciplined and listen to the coach’s instructions either on or off the pitch. I think other players that played under him can also testify, not just me.

“So, I think whatever path you choose, be it football or music or any other thing, you have to be disciplined and know what you are doing and what you want.”

Since his arrival from Belgium in July, Osimhen has set Ligue 1 on fire with his fine run in front of goal where he has 10 goals in 18 games so far this season.

Mahrez or Mane: Who deserves to be named African Footballer of the Year?

Ahead of Tuesday evening’s Caf Awards, Goal examines the case for the two front-runners for the title of the continent’s best player

On Tuesday, the Confederation of African Football will crown Africa’s Player of the Year for 2019, with Riyad Mahrez, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah the three players shortlisted for the award.

In this Great Debate, Goal writers Seye Omidiora and Solace Chukwu each present a case for the player they believe ought to receive the award.

Riyad Mahrez

by Seye Omidiora

The peculiar thing about individual awards is that when there’s a hype train in motion, mixed with the right media spin; it’s often tough to consider other contenders for the particular honour.

Thus, unsurprisingly, everyone seems to be focused on Liverpool’s Salah and Mane for the 2019 African Player of the Year, while somewhat neglecting 2016 winner Mahrez, who thrived in the calendar year for Manchester City and Algeria

The Reds pair claimed the Merseyside club’s sixth European crown in June, and Mane appears to be the frontrunner, but what about Mahrez?

Having endured a tough start last term in his maiden campaign at City, in which Pep Guardiola chose to use him smartly, the Algerian seldom disappointed when called upon.

He was influential in the Citizens’ 7-0 FA Cup win over Rotherham United in January – the first time the club scored that many in the competition since 1968 – as well as a 9-0 thrashing of Burton Albion in the first-leg of their EFL Cup semi-final – another milestone for goals that hadn’t been reached in over three decades.

Furthermore, Mahrez’s impact in Pep’s City’s Premier League run-in was notable over two games, against Bournemouth in March and Brighton & Hove Albion on the final day. 

In the former, the wideman scored, albeit fortuitously, against a Cherries side that was intent on absolutely frustrating Pep’s troops to help his side to a 1-0 win, while coming up trumps on the final day with a majestic individual performance in their comeback 4-1 win at Brighton & Hove Albion. 

Mahrez won the domestic treble in his first year in Manchester, an unprecedented feat in English football, and City were, notably, the only side to successfully defend the league title in the 2010s.

He carried that winner’s aura into the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations for Algeria too, as they won their first title since 1990. In the knockout rounds, when the going got tough, he still influenced proceedings for Djamel Belmadi’s troops, with a pair of goals against Guinea and Nigeria.

Cup competitions are remembered for the really remarkable moments, and they don’t come bigger than the attacker’s last-gasp free-kick winner against the Super Eagles in the semi-final. 

By contrast, Mane didn’t score after Senegal’s Round of 16 win over Uganda

Digging deeper, you’d realise the forward scored just once after the last 16 in Liverpool’s Champions League run, too. 

For Mahrez, the competition for places at City, especially in the forward positions, means shared minutes for everyone up front, so game time, while being a factor to consider, remains inferior to impact under added pressure.

He’s had to fight to show he’s tough as nails to become arguably City’s most threatening wideman this season and will be crucial in their European push this term.

In 2019, Mahrez won four titles with club and country, having an impact whenever he was needed by both. Surely, he is the deserving King of African Football. 

Sadio Mane

by Solace Chukwu

While Mahrez has perhaps the standout moment of the year of any of the final three nominees — the timing of that semi-final free-kick, and the sheer significance of it makes it practically impossible to top –there can be little argument that Mane is fully deserving of the title of Africa’s best player.

To begin with, the Senegal international has been one of the more influential players spearheading Liverpool’s finest team of the last four decades alongside fellow nominee Salah. In 2019, Mane went up a level, tying for the Premier League Golden Boot and lifting the Uefa Champions League in Madrid.

What has followed — Uefa Super Cup and Fifa Club World Cup trophies, as well as a near-flawless league campaign so far — has only served to buttress the sense of inevitability to Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp’s side find a way to exact themselves upon matches, and are furiously consistent. 

Of their front three, Mane embodies this the best. There have been dips and troughs from Salah and Roberto Firmino, but the former Southampton and Red Bull Salzburg man has managed to maintain a steady level of performance and output for the majority of the year.

His contributions were rightly acknowledged with a fourth-place finish in the voting for the Balon D’Or, a placement most have expressed their dismay with. No less an authority than Arsene Wenger backed his claim for top spot, describing him as “the outstanding character” in Liverpool’s continued rise, and praising his fearlessness.

“He is a fighter, and he is efficient. He deserves huge credit,” the former Arsenal boss opined.

Admittedly, he may not have been able to deliver the Afcon title that Mahrez did, but he did more than his fair share, scoring thrice in the tournament to power the Teranga Lions.

A run to the final, while ultimately futile, certainly counts for something, and there should be no shame attached to it.

Also, while he does not have that single moment of euphoria, he does have perhaps the most complete showing of any African player in the year. In February, Liverpool travelled to Munich to face giants Bayern at the Allianz Arena, and Mane delivered a performance for the ages.

The 27-year-old utterly destroyed the Bavarians, bamboozling Manuel Neuer and the entire Bayern defence to open the scoring, before proceeding to torment Joshua Kimmich time and again on the night. It was a marquee performance on the biggest stage, under the keenest of spotlights, and he served definitive notice of his greatness.

In 2019, there simply was no more complete or accomplished African performer in all of football.