As the 2016/17 Premier League season prepares to enter its final lap, many are thinking ahead as to how the Premier League clubs may line-up next season. From Messi to Griezmann there are plenty of world class players who are being strongly linked with a potential move to the most exciting competition in the globe. However, the arrival of new faces will inadvertently result in some of the current Premier League players being forced out the door.As exciting as the current season has been, the 2017/18 Premier League promises to deliver an even better showcase for both fans & neutrals alike. In this piece of article, we will be looking some of the African Players who may not feature in the 2017/18 Premier League.

African Players who won’t feature in the 2017/18 Premier League

  • Riyad Mahrez – Barcelona

Mahrez owes it all to Leicester City, having been brought into the club from relative obscurity, the Algerian International has gone on to become one of the biggest superstars in the Premier League within a couple of seasons. Having been the key cog to the Leicester’s 2015/16 title-winning campaign, the 26-year-old has since then become an unruly customer among the foxes. Though there have been some minor glimpses of his brilliance, Mahrez has been largely unable reproduce his magic from last season.

The winger who had tried to force a move from the club last season has since been linked to a number of European heavyweights including Barcelona, Real Madrid & PSG to name a few. While a move within the league is possible with Arsenal & Chelsea being the top contenders, Barcelona for now looks to be the premier destination [1] for last years’ Premier League player of the year. With Leicester having penned down Mahrez to a 4-year, 100,000£/week deal at the start of the season, the foxes can get up to 40£ million for the player if they choose to cash in.

Odds on Mahrez Moving to Barcelona: 3/1 (Ladbrokes)

  • Yaya Toure – Inter Milan

There is no denying the fact that Yaya Toure has been a great servant for Manchester City over the last 7 years. Apart from any European Silverware, the Ivorian has won every possible trophy with the Citizens. At 33 years of age, the lanky midfielder has slipped down the ranks at the club & is likely not a part of Guardiola’s plans for City next season. There were strong rumors hinting at a potential exit from the club in January but Toure reiterated his commitment to the club’s chase of a top 4 spot this season. Whether City can achieve a top 4 finish or not, it seems a certainty that Yaya will move on at the end of the campaign.

Italian giants Inter Milan who have long been in pursuit of the Ivorian international [2] is set to offer the midfielder a contract at the end of the current campaign. Serie A is a lot kinder to aging players & Yaya would be able to get in a couple of good seasons before retiring. The Chinese Super League is another option & the move will certainly help improve his bank balance.

Odds on Yaya Toure Moving to Inter Milan: 6/1 (Skybet)

  • Steven Pienaar – Orlando Pirates

While listing out the greatest Africans to play in the Premier League, most will mention names such as Drogba, Toure brothers, Kanu etc but none of them, apart from Kolo Toure have had the longevity in the competition like Steven Pienaar. Moving to Everton from Borussia Dortmund during the 2007/08 season, the South African has been one of the most consistent performers in the competition over the last decade. We are not saying he was a great player, Pienaar was, in fact, one of those players who appears to be missing throughout the game but in reality, does half of the work himself.

After a couple of non-influential seasons at Everton, Pienaar was thought to be a strong contender to leave the competition last summer. However, after a trial with David Moyes’ Sunderland, Pienaar was offered a one-year contract with the club. At 35 years of age, the South African International has done well so far this season but injuries have plagued him throughout the year. It would be best for the player to head back to his home country, which will not only benefit him but will also attract more eyes to the PSL.

External Resources

[1] Thesun.co.uk, Barcelona plotting a move for Riyad Mahrez

[2] Talksport.com, Inter Milan eyeing a potential move for Yaya Toure