African Stars to watch at CT CUP

African Stars to watch at CT CUP
Crystal Palace's Marouane Chamakh celebrates scoring

by Staff Reporter

Wednesday Jul 22, 2015. 10:12

Crystal Palace and Sporting Lisbon boast several African stars who will be aiming to impress for their club at the inaugural Cape Town Cup, which kicks-off in the Mother City this coming weekend.

The two teams will battle South African sides SuperSport United and Ajax Cape Town respectively, as the start of the 2015/2016 football season draws ever closer.

With three days to go to the much anticipated pre-season tourney, we take a look at three African stars that will dazzle the crowd come Friday.

Yannick Bolasie - Crystal Palace and Democratic Republic of Congo

Arguably Crystal Palace's standout player last season, Yannick Bolasie enjoyed a stellar 2014/2015 season for both club and country.

The French-born wide-man was pivotal as DR Congo finished third at the 2015 African Cup of Nations, while he was instrumental in helping Palace to a 10th place finish the Premier League.

Bolasie scored four times, assisting a further 11 goals in 34 league appearances for the Eagles, notably netting a 11 minute hat-trick against Sunderland in April - Palace's first top flight hat-trick since 1991.

The 26-year-old has been strongly linked with a move away from the club, but for now the Capetonians can look forward to him bamboozling the opposition in a Palace shirt.

Islam Slimani - Sporting Lisbon and Algeria

Sporting Lisbon fans will be hoping to keep hold of in-demand Algerian striker Islam Slimani, who has been tipped with a move away from the Portuguese outfit.

The 27-year-old hit-man enjoyed a slow rise to prominence, finally stamping his authority in front of goal with a outstanding 2014/2015 season - scoring in the final, from open play and in the penalty shootout, as Sporting beat Braga to to claim the Portuguese Cup.

In total Slimani netted 12 times (grabbing a further four assists) in 21 league games for the Lions.

Marouane Chamakh - Crystal Palace and Morocco

While he might not have enjoyed as good a season as the above-mentioned players, Chamakh is still a well-known footballer, having previously donned the famous Arsenal jumper.

The 31-year-old missed a fair chunk of the 2014/2015 season due to a nagging hamstring injury and will be hoping for an injury free 2015/2016 campaign.

The Morocco national scored a mere two league goals last season, with an in-form Glen Murray getting the nod ahead of the former Bordeaux star.

Chamakh did manage to end the season on a high, netting in a final day win over Swansea to help the Eagles fly to a 10th place finish.

Full list of African Players:

Crystal Palace
- Yannick Bolasie (DR Congo)
- Adlène Guedioura (Algeria)
- Marouane Chamakh (Morocco)
- Kwesi Appiah (Ghana) - Appiah is still recovering from injury.
- Pape Souaré (Senegal)

Sporting Lisbon
- Ramy Rabia (Egypt)
- Islam Slimani (Algeria)
- Zakaria Labyad (Morocco)