Tuesday, May 15, 2007

3 Africans in Top 10 Premiership Signings of the Year


Norman Hubbard of ESPN's Soccernet.com did a superb piece on the top ten signings of the English Premiership season.

Three Africans feature on this list. I quote from the article.

7. Kanu (Portsmouth, free): Harry Redknapp has displayed a weakness for players he was unable to afford during their prime, but few of his aged recruits have been as successful as Kanu. The Portsmouth manager's estimates of his age may vary between 47 and 54 - though Kanu is officially only 30 - but the undeniable fact is that this is his best goalscoring season since 1999-2000. After only 7 goals in 53 games for West Brom, the Nigerian was a surprise on the list of the Premiership's top scorers until the final weeks of the campaign and even more surprisingly, scored a few with his head.

5. Christopher Samba (pictured, right)(Blackburn, £400,000): Pound for pound, arguably the best signing of all at just £400,000. The giant Congolese is perhaps the most intimidating defender in the Premiership physically, but he has been so accomplished that his qualities stretch far beyond size alone. Blackburn's advancement in 2007 can be attributed to the signing of Samba and his pairing with a fit-again Ryan Nelsen at the heart of their defence.

2. Benni McCarthy (Blackburn, £2.5 million): Over recent years, no summer's transfer talk has been complete without mention of McCarthy. His prolific form for Blackburn prompts the thought that someone really should have signed the South African sooner. Scoring 24 goals for any club is an achievement but, at just £2.5 million, it is a remarkable return, especially as only Didier Drogba outscored McCarthy in the Premiership.

Besides the total, his range of goals is impressive, with the wonderful shot he unleashed to eliminate Arsenal from the FA Cup perhaps the most memorable. McCarthy joins Christopher Samba, Stephen Warnock, Ryan Nelsen and David Bentley in an impressive stable of signings by Mark Hughes.

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