New African Soccer has announced Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City as September’s English Premier League African Player of the Month. He beat off competition from other shortlisted stars like West Ham’s Victor Moses, Watford’s Odion Ighalo and Stoke City’s Mame Biram Diouf.
In a release by the organizers and signed by the CEO of New African Soccer ‘Tunde Adelakun, it was a really close call as Africans, for the second month running, showed “exemplary quality in the highly competitive English Premier League”. But Mahrez nicked it.
Continuing, Adelakun said, “the quality was there in September, and anyone who says Africa does not contribute enough to the Premier League just needs to see the stats from August and September. It was great to see our stars’ names popping up in every angle”.
He also said that the turnout for votes was unprecedented, as people really got involved, leading to victory for Algeria -born Mahrez.
“What we stand for is celebrating our stars. There is too much negativity that gets highlighted out of Africa, so much so that there is the need to show the world that football contributes a lot of good to the world at large. And we are happy for the players who are doing the continent proud, and of the people – colleagues in the media, as well as voting public for getting involved so much that it makes us feel satisfied that we are doing a good thing with these awards”, Adelakun added.
He used the opportunity to encourage the players to keep doing what they are doing, saying “their efforts are being noted, and we believe that more and more accolades will come their way if they continue in this manner”.
Adelakun extolled the virtues of Africans in other leagues, as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Borussia Dortmund set a record in the Bundesliga, scoring in 8 consecutive matches in Germany; as well as former Chelsea star Didier Drogba in the MLS in America, who, in his words, has “rolled back the years, making many a Chelsea fan wonder if their team would have been in 16th place in the Premier League if he had stayed at Stamford Bridge”.
Drogba has netted 6 goals in 5 appearances for Montreal Impact, which he only joined recently, and has won the MLS Player of the Month for this feat.