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African football stars’ big moves in Europe


TWO African soccer stars featured in a dramatic closing night for transfers where over a billion dollars was spent.

Ghananian superstars Thomas Partey made a sensational move to British Premier League side Arsenal with South African Bongani Zungu joining Rangers on a season-long loan deal from French side Amiens.

Partey’s much talkabout move was sealed soon after Arsenal paid Atletico Madrid the $40-million release clause as stipulated in his contract. Partey then cancelled his contract with Atletico and signed with Arsenal for $45-million.


Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta said he was delighted to add such a high quality player to his squad.

“He is a dynamic midfielder with great energy. He brings a lot of experience from a top club that has competed at the highest level in La Liga and the Champions League for several years.

“We’re very impressed with his attitude and his approach to the game. He’s an intelligent footballer and we’re looking forward to him integrating into our system and contributing to the progress we’re building at the moment at the club,” he said.

At Rangers, Zungu, a former Mamelodi Sundowns midflieder who plays for Bafana Bafana, will be managed by Steven Gerrard, a legend of Liverpool and English football. Rangers have an option to make the loan deal permanent.

Gerrard said:  “Bongani fits the profile of a player that adds further strength and depth to our midfield. We made it clear that we wanted a player who will enhance our squad and starting XI. We believe Bongani does this.

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“We wanted a dominant midfielder with the right profile who can enhance the team and compliment other players we have.”

Zungu said he was happy to join the Light Blues.  “I have studied the squad and feel I can come in and bring my attributes to help the team improve. The chance to play for such a big club especially in European competitions is very exciting for me. 

“I can’t wait to fly to Scotland and meet my new teammates. I know that I will settle in Glasgow and am looking forward to getting started as soon as possible. 

“I really want the fans to be proud of my performances and will always give 100 per-cent for my new team. 

“Rangers is a global club and I know there are already many supporters across Africa. I am looking forward to playing in front of a big crowd and audiences across the world.”

By The African Mirror