Top five surprise youngsters
Every Africa Cup of Nations an unknown player seems to become unforgettable, mostly due to the talent they show at the tournament.
SuperSport.com blogger Clyde Tlou takes a look at some youngsters that he believes will make their mark in the 2013 Afcon.
Ryad Boudebouz, Algeria
Standing at 1.77 metres tall, the French-born midfielder will be one to watch in the Algerian midfield. He is plying his trade in the French League 1 where, this season, he has made 17 starts and scored one goal for Sochaux.
Boudebouz is an attacking midfielder who can play on either flank or through the middle and dons Algeria’s jersey number 10. He possesses great ball control skills and has a big bag full of dribbling tricks.
Kenny Dalglish was reported to be a great admirer of the midfielder and wanted to bring him to Anfield but, unfortunately, the deal hit a snag after Liverpool axed the manager. Also reported to be keen on the nimble-footed player were French giants Lyon, Lille and Marseille.
Germain Sanou, Burkina Faso
The 20-year-old was initially called-up for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations where he was third choice, a position that he has no doubt improved.
The young shot-stopper began his career with Burkinabe side Centre Saint-Étienne Bobo, which has ties with French club Saint-Etienne. His undoubted potential and great form saw him drafted into the Saint-Etienne II side during the 2011/12 season.
He represented Burkina Faso at the 2009 Fifa Under-17 World Cup before making his senior international debut in 2010. Standing at about 1.86m, if given the starting berth he will do well and promises to be the next Essam El-Hadary, who stands at 1.88m tall.
Richmond Boakye, Ghana
The Juventus strikerwas scouted by Serie A giants Genoa at a tournament in Italy.
Boakye made his Serie A debut in a match against Livorno when he came off the bench as a substitute for David Suazo in the 13th minute and scored the opening goal. The match ended in a 1-all draw.
In 2011, Boakye joined Serie B outfit US Sassuolo Calcio on a one-year loan deal where he managed to score 12 goals in 34 appearances. His performances caught the eyes of reigning Serie A champions, Juventus, who snapped him up.
This was followed by a national team call-up for Ghana in a friendly against China PR and he didn’t disappoint as his 80th minute strike earned the Black Stars a draw. With Jordan Ayew not part of the squad and Emmanuel Clottey misfiring, Boakye stands a good chance to play a role in South Africa.
Abdul Razak, Ivory Coast
The Abidjan-born midfielder is currently in the books of Manchester City after joining them from the Crystal Palace youth setup in 2008
After finally making his debut for the Manchester City reserve team, Razak was then given a surprise debut for the first team, coming on as a substitute for David Silva in the final minutes of the Premier League game against West Bromwich Albion on 5 February 2011.
In his second game for the Manchester City first team against Wigan Athletic on 10 September 2011, Razak came in from the bench for his countryman Yaya Touré in the 80th minute.
He made his first full appearance for the first team on 21 September 2011 in the third round of the Football League Cup against Birmingham City.
Jorge Djaniny, Cape Verde
The Benfica striker currently on loan to SC Olhanense arrived in Portugal at the age of 18 to study alternative energy and immediately starting playing football with Azores team Grupo Desportivo Velense, a regional league club.
He was quick to make his mark, scoring 50 goals in two seasons, which saw him moving into the top division, signing for three years with UD Leiria in July 2011.
His exploits caught the eyes of Benfica scouts, who put him in their reserves before loaning him out. Djaniny received his first call-up for Cape Verde in 2011 and scored his first international goal in a 2013 Afcon qualifier against Madagascar in June 2012.