African players in Europe: Highly rated Osimhen strikes twice

Victor Osimhen confirmed his reputation as one of the top forwards in the world by scoring twice as Serie A leaders Napoli hammered Juventus 5-1 at the weekend.

The 24-year-old, who missed the 2022 World Cup because Nigeria surprisingly failed to qualify, has been linked with Premier League pacesetters Arsenal and third-placed Newcastle United.

He tops the Serie A scoring charts with 12 goals and compatriot Ademola Lookman, who scored twice for Atalanta, is among those sharing second place.

Here,AFP Sport highlights African headline-makers across Europe:

ITALY

VICTOR OSIMHEN (Napoli)

He scored twice as Napoli thrashed Juventus to mark themselves out as clear Serie A title favourites. Osimhen, who also set up Khvicha Kvaratskhelia for a goal, has struck a league-leading 12 times this season for a team that holds a nine-point lead at the top.

ADEMOLA LOOKMAN (Atalanta)

Lookman is second only to compatriot Osimhen in the Serie A scoring charts after bagging a brace in his side’s 8-2 thrashing of Salernitana. He netted from the spot after squeezing his penalty under the body of Guillermo Ochoa and then swept in a fine strike from the edge of the box before also teeing up Ederson for a goal.

M'BALA NZOLA (Spezia)

The Angola international notched his ninth goal of the campaign to secure a 1-0 win at Torino that sent his team nine points clear of the relegation zone. Nzola tucked away a first-half penalty to extend Spezia's unbeaten run to five matches.

ENGLAND

HAKIM ZIYECH (Chelsea)

Ziyech's days at Chelsea may be numbered after the Blues splashed out for another winger in signing Mykhailo Mudryk for 100 million euros ($108 mn), but the Moroccan created the winner, scored by Kai Havertz, for a much-needed 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.

SPAIN

El BILAL TOURE (Almeria)

With a powerful header, the Mali striker levelled for Almeria in the 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid after Angel Correa sent the visitors ahead. Toure did well to escape the attention of Axel Witsel and beat Jan Oblak for his fourth league goal this season.

FRANCE

TEREM MOFFI (Lorient)

The Nigerian scored his 12th Ligue 1 goal of the season -- only Kylian Mbappe has more -- to put Lorient in front at Marseille before the home side came back to win 3-1. The 23-year-old Moffi, who used to play in Lithuania and Belgium, is in demand in the January transfer window with reports in France saying Nice as well as two English Premier League clubs have already had bids for him rejected this month.

MOHAMED BAYO (Lille)

Bayo made just his third start for Lille following a 14 million-euro ($15.2 mn) move from Clermont last July as his team faced Troyes. The France-born Guinea international duly scored twice in a 5-1 win. Bayo had not scored for his new club until the end of December but has netted four goals in his last four appearances.

HAMARI TRAORE (Rennes)

The Mali right-back captained Rennes to a famous victory over Paris Saint-Germain, scoring the only goal of the game. It was his first goal of the season and just his sixth in over 200 games since signing for Rennes in 2017.

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