The Bundesliga has delivered its verdict. From Sadio Mané to Sébastien Haller and Chupo-Moting, Sport News Africa takes a look at the season’s top and bottom performers from Africa.
The Chupo-Moting surprise
In the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City, Bayern Munich would have loved to have had Eric Maxim Chupo-Moting on the pitch to convert the numerous dangerous situations his team-mates missed. Who would have thought that the Cameroon international’s absence through injury would have had such an impact in such an important match? Proof of the 34-year-old striker’s great season. With a total of 10 goals scored in 19 Bundesliga games, Chupo-Moting was hampered by an injury that kept him out of action for several weeks, jeopardising his end-of-season prospects. Despite his performances, the Bavarian giants are set to sign a top-class striker for next season.
Bensebaini as usual
Ramy Bensebaini has established himself as one of the most dependable performers in the German top flight, and has once again proved his worth with a fine season. Although Borussia M’gladbach finished no better than 10th in the Bundesliga, the Algerian left-back was very decisive, with 6 goals and 1 assist in 28 games. Having reached the end of his contract, Ramy Bensebaini is set to join Borussia Dortmund next season as a replacement for Raphaël Guerreiro. A new adventure that will take him to the next level.
Haller, a complicated but successful season
The missed penalty against Mayenne that could have given Dortmund the chance to equalise and dream of the title will undoubtedly be a memory that will be very difficult to remove from the mind of Sébastien Haller. But that one goal cannot define the fine season the Ivorian has had. Recruited to take over from Erling Haaland, who left for Manchester City, Sébastien Haller quickly won everyone over with his ability and efficiency. But the story came to a screeching halt when Haller was struck down by cancer. Forced to take time off the pitch, the Elephant nursed himself back to health and returned to action like a hero to finish the season. In all, Haller managed to score 9 goals and provide 5 assists in 19 games.
Sadio Mané, the great disappointment
Bayern Munich’s star recruit in the summer of 2022 arrived with great fanfare, but Sadio Mané has failed to live up to expectations in the Bundesliga. While his statistics are disappointing, with just 7 goals scored and 5 assists in 25 games played, the Senegalese player’s behaviour has been particularly disappointing, with his blows to Leroy Sané earning him a financial penalty and a one-match suspension. Despite suffering a serious knee injury and undergoing surgery that ruled him out of the World Cup, Sadio Mané has never been able to integrate into Bayern Munich’s game.
Under Julian Nagelsmann, the 31-year-old failed to convince either in the centre of attack or on the left flank. He even ended the season on the bench under Thomas Tuchel. Sadio Mané did not play a single minute on the decisive final day of the season, which saw the Bavarians become Bundesliga champions for the 11th time in succession. Even though some journalists are predicting a departure at the end of the season, the Senegalese national team star has no plans to leave Germany and wants to prove that he is indeed capable of turning things around.
Mazraoui out of the running
Even if Bayern Munich are champions, their Africans are far from having a good record. Like Sadio Mané, Noussair Mazraoui is also missing out on his first season in Bavaria. Having arrived from Ajax Amsterdam, the Moroccan was expected to become a regular at right-back. Competition with Benjamin Pavard proved to be too much for the Frenchman. Physically fragile and too timid in his performances, he will be more often on the bench at kick-off than on the pitch. Frustrated by his situation, Noussair Mazraoui has threatened to leave the club this summer in search of playing time.
Abdou Diallo, more absent than present
On loan at RB Leipzig, Abdou Diallo has disappeared from the radar this season. Although his spell at Paris SG was inconclusive due to his lack of playing time, the Senegalese defender thought he would have more room to express himself at the German club. However, his physical fragility and inconsistency were not to be. His record is far from pleasing Leipzig’s directors, with just 8 Bundesliga games this season. Not enough to activate the €20m purchase option. He is expected to return to Paris SG in a bid to find a new destination.