It’s been a momentous season for African footballers in Europe, especially the strikers. Have a collection of African strikers enjoyed a better season in Europe? Probably not; Arouna Kone scored so much that Levante had to abstain from playing him to avoid triggering a clause which would have seen him return to his parent club; Emmanuel Adebayor reached double figures in goals and assists; Yakubu’s goalscoring chance conversion rate (29%) was only bettered by Papiss Cisse 37% – which is incredible, considering Blackburn were eventually relegated; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came of age, embarking on a goalscoring streak of 14 goals in 26 games; Seydou Doumbia froze Russian league defenders with his right-place-right-time sense in front of the net; and, of course, Didier Drogba’s insatiable performances in big games were vintage. I could go on. But this isn’t about merely strikers. To the business at hand:
Goalkeeper: Boubacar Barry (Lokeren/Ivory Coast)
African goalkeepers seem to be in short supply in Europe. Richard Kingson has faded into obscurity, Carlos Kameni rarely played for Espanyol in the first half of the season and played second fiddle at Malaga following a January move, whilst Guy Roland N’Dy Assembe floundered in mid-table with Nancy even though he has shown genuine talent at times. The straightforward choice, then, was Ivorian Boubacar Barry who remains the number one choice for Lokeren and added a Belgian Cup medal to his medal collection this season as well as scored goals.