Following the Premier League’s conclusion, FUTBALtalk name and shame Africa’s 10 worst underperformers of the 2016-17 campaign.
10. Daniel Amartey There were promising signs from Amartey last season as he made a handful of outings during Leicester’s run to the title after signing for the Foxes midway through the campaign.
This season, however, he’s been somewhat exposed in the top flight, particularly in a midfield role where he’s failed to replicate the ball-winning qualities of N’Golo Kante.
There’s still hope for the future, but it’s been a worryingly poor second season for the Ghana international.
9. Jordon Ibe: is another one of the big-money transfers in this list who, in their maiden year at least, have failed to represent value for money.
The 21-year-old wingman joined Bournemouth for a club record £15 million in the summer, but the Anglo-Nigerian attacker didn’t manage a single decisive contribution in 25 outings, of which 13 were starts.
He’s young enough to come good, but Liverpool fans weren’t too disappointed to see the winger — who can have a tendency to be somewhat one-dimensional — part for an eight-figure fee.
8. Max Gradel: It’s just not working out for Gradel in England is it?
The Ivorian impressed at Saint-Etienne and with the Elephants during their 2015 Nations Cup-winning campaign, yet he’s never come close to hitting those heights at Bournemouth.
29-year-old Gradel has three years left on his contract, but after making just 11 outings this season — all as a substitute — expect him to move on this summer.7. Ahmed Musa: Signed by Leicester City for £16.6 million in July, ostensibly as a replacement for Jamie Vardy, Musa’s progress was surely hindered by the fact that his would-be predecessor never actually left the reigning Premier League champions.
Still, despite a bright showing against Manchester United in the Charity Shield, Musa struggled to contribute either domestically or in Europe.
At 24, he still has the time and the quality to come good, but he’s been worryingly ineffective this term and two league goals is a miserable return.
6. Georges-Kevin Nkoudou: There are various reasons why Tottenham Hotspur fell short in the title race this season, but a lack of significant attacking options off the bench certainly contributed.
Vincent Janssen, Moussa Sissoko and Franco-Cameroonian wideman Nkoudou — all signed at great expense this summer — failed to offer much, with the last playing just 49 minutes over eight substitute appearances.
He failed to score or contribute an assist in any competition, and has offered scant reward despite an £11 million outlay.5. Rudy Gestede broke his own 44-game winless streak in the top flight when Middlesbrough beat Sunderland in late April, but he wasn’t able to help Boro avoid the drop.
The Beninois striker managed just one league goal — in a 3-1 defeat by Manchester United — since signing from Aston Villa midway through the campaign as he was condemned to a second consecutive relegation from the top flight.
One miss in the away draw with Swansea City proved particularly costly.
4. Wilfried Bony: Now 28, Bony, who was once the most expensive African in the game, should be in his prime.
However, he’s coming to the end of a loan spell with Stoke City where he’s played just 10 games and scored two goals.
Parent club Manchester City won’t want him. Will anyone?
3. Saido Berahino: Stoke City fans must be wondering what all the fuss is about with Berahino, who was signed from West Bromwich Albion for £12 million in January.
Indeed, for broader observers of the Premier League, the Anglo-Burundian frontman has firmly become an enigma and has never looked close to replicating his best season — the 2014-15 campaign, when he scored 14.
He didn’t find the net all season.2. Isaac Success: Like the aforementioned Musa, Success is a Nigerian record-setting transfer that’s wholly failed to impress in the English game.
He only started two matches all term — with Walter Mazzarri clearly losing faith in the youngster — and the forward looks destined to be a risky, over-priced addition that looks unlikely to pay off.
It was concerning that Watford recruited Stefano Okaka and M’Baye Niang in January to shoulder the goalscoring burden, but unsurprising really considering Success netted just once all year.
1. Nampalys Mendy: The man signed to replace Kante has largely failed to meet that brief during an admittedly injury-hit maiden campaign in England.
24-year-old Franco-Senegalese midfielder Mendy managed just four appearances since signing for £13 million from OGC Nice, and has been usurped in midfield by new boy Wilfred Ndidi.