It’s not uncommon to see African last names on European football club jerseys. However, what’s important to note is that these players are not coming directly from Africa.
“Among the list of movements this January were a bevy of common African names: Bangoura, Boateng, Diaw, Kamara, Mendy, Owusu, Sissoko and Touré.
But while this might suggest there is a healthy exodus of Africa’s top talent to the bigger, and more lucrative leagues of Europe, it is but an illusion.
African footballers are still a wanted commodity, but not necessarily those from the continent.
Instead, it is the ever-increasing numbers from the diaspora – second- and even third-generation kids born in Europe to African parents who are prized for the physical prowess and creativity that their African genes provide, but also having had the benefit of a more formal footballing education in Europe.”