Memphis Depay

Memphis Depay (born 13 February 1994), commonly known simply as Memphis, is a Dutch professional footballer who plays as a forward for French club Lyon and the Netherlands national team. Depay was named the “Best Young Player” in the world in 2015 by France Football. Depay is widely considered to be one of the brightest young talents in European football and the most exciting young player to emerge from the Eredivisie since compatriot Arjen Robben. Depay is known for his ability to cut inside, dribbling, distance shooting and ability to play the ball off the ground. His playing style has earned him acclaim, with fans, media and former players drawing comparison to Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who believes “Memphis is one of the best young players in the world”, while Louis Van Gaal, Ronald Koeman, Guus Hiddink, Arjen Robben, Marco van Basten and Wayne Rooney have stated “he will be the best in the world”.

Having risen from significant adversity as a youngster in Moordrecht his former PSV youth coach Mart van Duren, immediately saw an innate quality in him drawing on his work ethic, saying, “I find it understandable that people can be reminded of Cristiano Ronaldo by Memphis… Well, I believe he is going to get close.” Depay began his professional career with PSV, where, under the influence of manager Phillip Cocu, he became an integral part of the team, scoring 50 goals in 124 games across all competitions. During the 2014–15 season, he was the Eredivisie’s top scorer with 22 goals in 30 games, and helped the team win the Eredivisie title for the first time since 2008. He also personally won the Johan Cruyff Trophy for his performances during the season as the talent of the year. He joined Manchester United in May 2015 for a reported fee of £25 million. During the 2015–16 season, Depay had the third-highest shirt sales in the world behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, according to online retailer Kitbag.

A product of the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) institution, Depay has represented the national team at every professional level from early developmental stages under the tutelage of iconic Dutch coaches and players alike. He was part of the Netherlands Under-17 team which won the 2011 European Championship. He made his senior debut in 2013, and the following year was part of their squad that came third at the 2014 FIFA World Cup where he made his breakthrough performances on the international stage. He is currently a member of the national setup for the 2018 World Cup qualification campaign.

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Ciro Immobile

Ciro Immobile (born 20 February 1990) is an Italian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Lazio and the Italian national team.

Although primarily a striker, Immobile is capable of playing anywhere along the front-line. A quick forward, Immobile is primarily known for his offensive movement and ability to make attacking in order to exploit spaces. His main characteristics are his eye for goal and finishing ability with both feet, as well as his physical attributes; he also possesses solid technique, and is effective in the air. In addition to his offensive capabilities, he is also a hard-working player, known for his willingness to chase down the ball and press opponents when not in possession.

He began his career at Sorrento. In 2009 he was purchased by Juventus, and then loaned out to three different clubs before moving to Genoa in 2012. After a season with the club, he moved to Juventus’ rivals Torino. At Torino, he won the Capocannoniere award as the top scorer in Serie A, where he scored 22 goals in 33 games. After his breakout season at Torino, he was sold to German club Borussia Dortmund for around €18 million, before moving to Sevilla in 2015. In 2016 he returned to Torino on loan, and was later sold to Lazio in July of that year.

Immobile made his Italy under-19 debut in a 2009 European Championship qualifier in October 2008, but Italy failed to make it to the play-offs. On 25 March 2009, he made his debut with the Italy under-21 squad in a friendly match against the Austrian under-21s. He scored his first goal at the U-21 level at his second appearance, on 25 April 2012, in a friendly match won 4–1 against Scotland. He also scored against the Netherlands when he dribbled past three defenders and chipped the keeper. He was selected as a member of the Italy U-21 squad for the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship in Israel, along with Genoa teammate Andrea Bertolacci.

On 2 March 2014, he received his first call-up to the senior national team by Cesare Prandelli, for a friendly match against Spain three days later. He made his debut as a substitute with for Alessio Cerci after 69 minutes as Spain eventually won 1–0.

On 13 May 2014, Immobile was named in Italy’s provisional 30-man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and on 1 June he was named in the final 23-man squad. On 8 June, he scored a hat-trick in the Azzurri’s final World Cup warm-up match, a 5–3 defeat of Brazilian club side Fluminense. Immobile made his competitive debut in Italy’s opening 2–1 win over England in Manaus on 14 June, playing the last 17 minutes in place of Mario Balotelli who scored the Italian winner. He scored his first international goal in the third minute of a 2–0 friendly victory against the Netherlands on 4 September 2014.

On 31 May 2016, Immobile was named to Conte’s 23-man Italy squad for UEFA Euro 2016.

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Miralem Pjanić

Miralem Pjanić (born 2 April 1990) is a Bosnian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Italian club Juventus and the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team.

Pjanić joined Metz at age 14 on a youth contract and spent approximately three years in the club’s academy. In the 2005–06 season, he played on the under-16 team that won the Championnat National des 16 ans and, following the season, signed a five-year élite contract with the club. After spending the 2006–07 season with the club’s under-18 team, Pjanić was promoted to the club’s amateur team in the Championnat de France amateur for the 2007–08 season. He appeared in the first two matches of the campaign before earning a call up to the senior team by manager Francis De Taddeo. Pjanić made his professional football debut, at the age of 17, on 18 August 2007 in a league match against Paris Saint-Germain. He appeared as a substitute in a 0–0 draw. The following week, he earned his first start in a 2–0 defeat to Rennes.

After a string of respectable appearances, on 30 November 2007, Pjanić signed his first professional contract agreeing to a three-year deal, tying him to Metz until 2010. After becoming professional, he was assigned the number 15 shirt.

Though Pjanić was in great form throughout the season, Metz still suffered relegation back to Ligue 2, prompting speculation that the young star would move to any of a host of clubs, with English clubs Arsenal and Chelsea, Spanish clubs Barcelona and Real Madrid, Italian clubs Milan and Internazionale, and French club Olympique Lyonnais vying for his services.

Despite Metz receiving numerous offers for the player’s services, on 6 June 2008, Pjanić and Metz both reached an agreement with Olympique Lyonnais for the transfer of the player. Pjanić agreed to a five-year contract, while the transfer fee was priced at €7.5 million plus future incentives.

Labeled as the future replacement for the ageing Juninho, Pjanić was initially given the number 12 shirt, but switched to the number 18 for pre-season and made his club debut in the team’s Trophée des Champions defeat to Bordeaux.

On 31 August 2011, Pjanić agreed a four-year deal with Italian club Roma, for an €11 million transfer fee. He scored his first goal for Roma against Lecce. Pjanić scored again in a 5–1 win over Cesena. He scored his third goal for Roma against Bologna, the equalizer in a 1–1 draw.

Pjanić started the 2012–13 season mostly on the bench. He got his chance in Derby della Capitale and scored a goal. From that game, he started playing regularly and scored one more goal in 2–0 win over Torino and one in the Coppa Italia against Atalanta. In the 2013–14 season, under new Roma coach Rudi García, he’s a starter in the 4–3–3 midfield, playing a key role to the team’s Serie A record of ten wins in the first ten season matches.

Pjanić scored 6 goals and made numerous assists in the 2013–14 Serie A season. On 25 April 2014, he scored the first goal in Roma’s 2–0 victory over Milan; the goal was a wonderful individual display from Pjanić, as he dribbled past Sulley Muntari, Riccardo Montolivo, and Adil Rami before putting the ball in the right side of the net and scoring.

On 11 May 2014, Pjanić signed a new contract which will last until 30 June 2018. In a friendly tournament in Denver in July, he scored from inside his own half, but Roma lost 3–2 to Manchester United. In the 2014–15 season, he became considered as a rising star in Italian football, scoring 5 times and assisting 10 goals.

In the 2015–16 season, Pjanić emerged as one of the world’s finest free-kick takers, netting a brilliant goal against Juventus on 30 August and scoring several more, including in the Champions League against Bayer Leverkusen. By the January break, he had scored 7 goals and assisted another 5, being linked with a transfer to Barcelona and Real Madrid in the winter transfer window. Towards the end of the season, rumours spread in the media of Pjanić’s possible departure from Roma, as he was linked with Juventus. He finished the season with ten league goals, and 12 in all competitions, while also finishing the league season as the top assist provider in Serie A for the second consecutive season, alongside Juventus’s Paul Pogba, with 12 assists.

On 13 June 2016, Pjanić joined Juventus on a five-year contract for a fee of €32 million, ending a five-year stint with Roma. He chose the number 5 shirt to start the new season. On 10 September, Pjanić scored on his debut in a 3–1 home win over Sassuolo.

A former Luxembourgian youth international, Pjanić has been a full international for Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2008, earning over 60 caps . He represented the nation at their first major tournament, the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

In 2015, he was ranked 55th in The Guardian’s list of “The 100 best footballers in the world”

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Wojciech Tomasz Szczęsny

Wojciech Tomasz Szczęsny (born 18 April 1990) is a Polish professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Roma on loan from Arsenal, and for the Poland national team.

Szczęsny trained at Agrykola Warsaw as a young player; soon, Legia Warsaw’s goalkeeping coach, Krzysztof Dowhań, was so impressed with the young keeper, he allowed him to take part in a training camp with Legia’s first team at the age of 15, joining them afterwards.

In 2006, Szczęsny joined the Arsenal youth set-up, progressing to the reserve team during the 2008–09 season. In November 2008, he lost his balance while lifting a heavy weight and both his forearms were fractured, causing him to miss five months. Szczęsny appeared on the first team bench for the first time during the Premier League match against Stoke City on 24 May 2009, remaining unused as the team concluded their season with a 4–1 victory at the Emirates Stadium.

At the start of the 2009–10 season, Szczęsny was promoted to the senior squad and given the number 53. On 22 September 2009, he made his first team debut in the Football League Cup third round, keeping a clean sheet in a 2–0 home win against West Bromwich Albion. In December 2009, manager Arsène Wenger revealed that he and the rest of Arsenal’s coaching staff had high hopes for Szczęsny, saying, “We have identified Wojciech as a future great, great goalkeeper.” A month later, he added, “I really believe in him that he will one day be Arsenal’s number one. He has all the qualities you want from a goalkeeper.”

On 20 November 2009, Szczęsny joined League One team Brentford on a month’s loan. He saved a second-half penalty in his second match, a 1–0 loss to Wycombe Wanderers. Szczęsny completed his fifth game for Brentford on 12 December 2009, where he made a number of saves to keep out Leeds United and was given the Man of the Match award. On 22 December, Arsenal agreed to extend the loan for a second month until 17 January 2010, and then until 31 January. Finally, it was extended until 31 May.

Szczęsny made his Premier League debut in the 1–0 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford on 13 December 2010, deputising for Łukasz Fabiański and Manuel Almunia, who both missed the match through injury. On 8 January 2011, he started the FA Cup third-round match against Leeds United. The following weekend, Szczęsny kept his first league clean sheet in a 3–0 win over West Ham United at Upton Park.

Following Szczęsny’s form after playing consecutive Premier League matches, Arsène Wenger confirmed that he would remain Arsenal’s first choice goalkeeper, stating, “he’s done nothing for me to take him out.” On 16 February, Szczęsny made his UEFA Champions League debut against Barcelona at the Emirates Stadium, making saves in a 2–1 victory.

On 29 July 2015, with his opportunities further limited by Arsenal’s signing of Petr Čech earlier that summer, Szczęsny joined Roma on a season-long loan. He made his Serie A debut on 22 August in a 1–1 draw at Hellas Verona.

On 4 August 2016, Arsenal confirmed that Szczęsny returned to Roma for the next season.

Szczęsny has earned more than 25 caps for Poland from his debut in 2009, and was included in the nation’s squad as it co-hosted UEFA Euro 2012.

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Alexandre Lacazette

Alexandre Lacazette (born 28 May 1991) is a French footballer who plays as a forward for Ligue 1 club Lyon and the France national team.

Upon his arrival at the club, Lacazette began training at the Centre Tola Vologe, the club’s training center. While undergoing training, he was likened to former Lyon striker Sonny Anderson by many coaches, including the player himself. As a youth player, Lacazette played on the club’s under-18 team that finished in third place in the Championnat National 18 ans during the 2007–08 season. The following season, he began making appearances with the club’s Championnat de France amateur team appearing in 19 matches and netting five goals. In the 2009–10 season, Lacazette had a stellar campaign in the CFA scoring 12 goals in 22 appearances.

During the second half of the 2009-10 Ligue 1 season, he was called up to the senior team by manager Claude Puel and appeared on the bench in the team’s 1–0 victory over Montpellier on 2 May 2010. Three days later, Lacazette made his professional debut in a league match against Auxerre. On 3 July 2010, Lacazette signed his first professional contract agreeing to a three-year deal. Due to still having another year left on his aspirant (youth) contract, the contract will start on 1 July 2011.

Lacazette’s successful campaign in the 2010 UEFA European Under-19 Championship saw the player draw interest from Italian club Roma. He also drew praise from the media, alongside international teammates Yannis Tafer and Clément Grenier, for his dedication to the club after playing in the pre-season 2010 Emirates Cup match hours after playing in the final of the 2010 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship. Lacazette began the 2010–11 campaign training full-time with the first team, though he did have a stint with the club’s CFA team in September 2010. He scored his first professional goal on 31 October in a league match against Sochaux. The goal gave Lyon a 2–1 lead, which was the final scoreline. Three days later, Lacazette made his UEFA Champions League debut against Portuguese club Benfica, appearing as a substitute in the second half with Lyon trailing 4–0. Minutes after entering, he provided the assist on Lyon’s opening goal scored by Yoann Gourcuff. Lacazette later assisted on the team’s second goal in the 85th minute. Lyon, however, were unable to complete the comeback, losing 4–3.

Lacazette scored Lyon’s only goal in the 2014 Coupe de la Ligue Final against Paris Saint-Germain, however his side lost 2–1.

In September 2014, Lacazette signed a two-year extension to his contract, tying him to the club until 2018. He scored his first hat-trick on 5 October 2014, netting all the goals in a 3–0 home win over Lille. On 26 April 2015 Lacazette broke the Lyon record for goals in a season with his 26th in a Ligue 1 victory against Reims. He finished the 2014–15 Ligue 1 season as the top scorer in Ligue 1, netting a total of 27 goals. Lacazette completed an outstanding season by being voted Ligue 1 Player of the Year for the 2014–2015 season.

Amid transfer speculation from a number of English Premier League clubs following his breakout season, on 8 August 2015 Lacazette signed a new deal, extending his contract with Lyon until 2019. On 8 November, he scored all of the goals in a 3–0 home win over arch rivals Saint-Étienne. On 9 January 2016, he scored the first goal at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais, in a 4–1 win over Troyes in a in Ligue 1 match.

On 29 October 2016, Lacazette scored two goals in Lyon’s 2-1 away win against Toulouse in a Ligue 1 match to register his 100th and 101st goal in all competitions for Lyon, overtaking Juninho Pernambucano (who scored 100 goals in 350 competitive matches for Lyon) to become the fourth-most prolific scorer in Lyon’s history. On 22 November, he scored the only goal by slotting home Rafael’s rolled cross from close range in the 72th minute of the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League group stage Group H matchday 5 1-0 away win against Dinamo Zagreb to keep alive Lyon’s hopes of progressing to the knockout phase of the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League.

Lacazette has represented France across all youth levels. He won the 2010 UEFA European Under-19 Championship with the France under-19 team, scoring the match-winning goal in the final against Spain. Lacazette made his senior international debut in June 2013, scoring his first goal in March 2015.

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Victor Moses

Victor Moses (born 12 December 1990) is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a winger or right wing-back for Premier League club Chelsea and the Nigeria national team.

Moses was born in Lagos, Nigeria, the son of a Christian pastor. When he was 11, his parents were killed. A week later, with his travel being paid for by relatives, Moses came to Britain as an asylum seeker. He attended Stanley Technical High School (now known as the Harris Academy) in South Norwood. Scouted playing football in the local Tandridge League for Cosmos 90 FC, Crystal Palace approached him, with the club’s Selhurst Park stadium just streets away from his school.

Offered a place in the Eagles’ academy, Palace recommended him to the fee-paying Whitgift School in Croydon, where former Arsenal and Chelsea star Colin Pates was coaching the school football team. Moses first came to prominence at 14 after scoring 50 goals for Palace’s under-14s side. Playing for three years at both Whitgift and Palace, Moses scored over 100 goals as well as helping Whitgift win many School Cups, including a National Cup where Moses scored all five goals in the final against Healing School of Grimsby at the Walkers Stadium, Leicester.

Moses made his first team debut for Palace at the age of 16 on 6 November 2007 in a 1–1 draw with Cardiff City. He kept his place in the side thereafter and scored his first senior goal on 12 March 2008 in a 1–1 draw with West Bromwich Albion. In total, Moses played 16 times in 2007–08 as Palace reached the Championship play-offs where they lost out to Bristol City. At the end of the season, he signed a new contract at Selhurst Park, much to delight of manager Neil Warnock, who stated, “Victor signing is a huge coup for the club; I’ve told Victor he could go as high as he wants. He’s improving every day and I am delighted that he has signed this deal as he is a player who will go from strength to strength.”

Moses score twice in 32 appearances in 2008–09 as Palace had a disappointing campaign, finishing in 15th position. In 2009–10, Moses went on a run of six goals in eight matches but Palace were suffering huge financial problems and the club went into administration in January 2010.

On the final day of it, he completed a £2.5 million transfer to Premier League side Wigan Athletic after Palace went into administration. He made his debut on 6 February 2010 as a substitute against Sunderland in a 1–1 draw. On 20 March 2010, Moses came on as a substitute against Burnley and got his first assist for the club, setting up Hugo Rodallega for an injury time winner. He scored his first goal for Wigan on 3 May 2010 against Hull City.

Moses picked up two injuries at the start of the 2010–11 season, and found it difficult to make it back into the first-team due to increased competition for places. He scored his first league goal of the season on 13 November 2010 in a 1–0 win against West Bromwich Albion.

Following the departure of winger Charles N’Zogbia, Moses became a regular starter for Wigan in the 2011–12 season. On 10 December 2011, he scored his first goal of the season against West Brom – his first goal since scoring against the same team last season.

After two years, his game had improved to the extent that European champions Chelsea were interested, and he signed for them in the summer of 2012. Despite ten goals in all competitions during his first season, he spent his second season on loan to Liverpool, his third on loan at Stoke City and his fourth on loan at West Ham United.

Moses represented England at under-16, under-17, under-19 and under-21 levels, but opted to play for Nigeria as opposed to being fully capped for England. He has gained over 20 caps for Nigeria since his debut in 2012, and played in their winning campaign at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, as well as the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

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Andrew Thomas “Andy” Carroll

Andrew Thomas “Andy” Carroll (born 6 January 1989) is an English professional footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club West Ham United and the England national team. A strong and very physical centre-forward, Carroll is distinguished by his powerful aerial abilities, with West Ham manager Slaven Bilić claiming that he is “the best in the world at heading a football”.

Carroll has been compared to Newcastle’s record goalscorer Alan Shearer, Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba and former Italy forward Christian Vieri. He has also been referred to as a classic centre forward, owing to his strength, powerful shot and excellent heading ability. Former Newcastle manager and Liverpool player Kevin Keegan stated “he is probably in the top three headers of a ball I have ever seen in football”. After Newcastle’s 2–0 victory at home to Blackpool in September 2010, in which Carroll scored the second goal and was instrumental in creating the first, Blackpool manager Ian Holloway described Carroll as “the best striker in the Premier League”.

Carroll started his professional career with Newcastle United in 2006, before spending a brief period on loan with Preston North End, during which time he scored his first league goal. He established himself as a regular in the Newcastle first team by 2008, and following Newcastle’s relegation from the Premier League to the Championship in 2009, scored 17 goals in 39 appearances to help Newcastle finish first in the league, earning immediate promotion back to the Premier League in the process. He continued to play for Newcastle in the Premier League, scoring 11 goals in 19 appearances.

Carroll signed for Liverpool on the last day of the transfer window on 31 January 2011 for a fee of £35 million, at the time the highest amount paid for a British footballer. Carroll was bought to replace Fernando Torres, who moved from Liverpool to Chelsea on the same day for a fee of £50 million. An injury sustained in December delayed his Liverpool debut until March 2011, and he scored his first two goals for his new club in April 2011 in a 3–0 victory over Manchester City. In August 2012, Liverpool agreed a £2 million loan deal that would see Carroll spend a season-long loan at West Ham. This move was made permanent in June 2013 for a fee of £15 million.

Between 2010 and 2012, Carroll played nine games for England, scoring twice, including one goal at UEFA Euro 2012.

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David Josué Jiménez Silva

David Josué Jiménez Silva (born 8 January 1986) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for English club Manchester City and the Spain national team. Silva plays mainly as an attacking midfielder but can also play as a winger or second striker. He is predominantly a left-footed player.

A product of Valencia’s youth system, Silva made his professional debut in 2004–05, with Segunda División’s Eibar, while on loan from Valencia, playing 35 league games and scoring on five occasions. In the following season, he was again out on loan, this time to Celta de Vigo, where he played 34 matches, scoring four goals. After two late substitute appearances, the first in a 2–0 home win over Málaga on 28 August 2005, Silva finished as an undisputed starter as the Galician side reached the UEFA Cup straight from the second-tier.

Silva returned to Valencia in the summer of 2006, becoming an automatic first-choice despite his young age of 20. In two seasons combined, he only missed six matches and netted 14 goals, his first league goal coming on 5 November 2006 in a 1–1 draw at Espanyol. In August 2008, he extended his contract by five years, amidst interest of several Premier League teams. He won the Copa del Rey 2008, his first title in Spain.

After not appearing in the first three months of 2008–09 due to a chronic ankle ailment, Silva returned to the call-ups in mid-December. On 3 January 2009, he scored twice in a 3–1 home win over Atlético Madrid, still contributing with 19 matches (four goals) as the Che qualified for the Europa League.

In the 2009–10 season, Silva scored a career-best eight goals, as Valencia finished in third position and returned to the UEFA Champions League. On 15 April 2010, he scored a brace against Athletic Bilbao for a 2–0 home win, adding three assists in the 4–4 thriller at Werder Bremen for the Europa League’s round of 16.

After spending six years of his professional career with Valencia CF, appearing in more than 150 games and winning the Copa del Rey in 2008, he moved to Manchester City. His passing ability and possession-retaining qualities earned him the nicknames “Merlin” and “El Mago” from his team-mates and fans. Since joining City, Silva has appeared in over 250 matches and is in his seventh season at the club. He has won the FA Cup, two Football League Cups and two Premier League titles.

A Spanish international since the age of 20, he is one of eleven Spanish players to have amassed 100 caps and was an integral member of the squads that won three consecutive international tournaments — UEFA Euro 2008, the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and UEFA Euro 2012.

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Victor Mugubi Wanyama

Victor Mugubi Wanyama (born 25 June 1991) is a Kenyan professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and captains the Kenya national team. On the field, Wanyama is known for his sportsmanship and leadership qualities.

After a successful trial, Wanyama signed for Beerschot AC on a four-year contract in summer 2008. He made his debut in a League match at the end of the 2008–09 season. In September 2009, he was fined €100 and given a three-match suspension for a violent tackle on Matias Suarez of Anderlecht.

In the summer of 2010 Scottish Premier League club Celtic attempted to sign Wanyama but Beerschot did not allow him to leave. Russian club CSKA Moscow also attempted to sign him, but they failed as well.

Wanyama scored his first goal for Beerschot on 11 December 2010, a 77th-minute equaliser against Westerlo. In April 2011, he received another three match suspension after video evidence showed he had elbowed Brecht Dejaeghere of K.V. Kortrijk.

On 9 July 2011, Wanyama finally completed a £900,000 move to Celtic from Beerschot AC, after the Scottish club had failed to sign him the previous year. He signed a four-year contract and in doing so became the first ever Kenyan to play in the SPL. Wanyama chose 67 as his squad number to honour the Lisbon Lions, Celtic’s 1967 European Cup winning team. Wanyama made his Celtic league debut in a 1–0 loss to St Johnstone on 21 August 2011. He played in central defence rather than his favoured central midfield role.

In October 2012, Wanyama scored twice against St Mirren at Saint Mirren Park, the second of which was a half volley from 25 yards out.

On 25 October 2012, Wanyama’s agent released a statement saying that he had turned down an improved contract offer from Celtic, stating that his wage demands could not be met by the club amid speculation of interest from clubs in England. On 7 November, Wanyama opened the scoring with a powerful header as Celtic shocked Barcelona in the Champions League group stage, by beating them 2–1 at Celtic Park.

After much speculation and a previous breakdown in talks, on 11 July 2013, Wanyama signed for Premier League side Southampton for a fee claimed to be £12.5 million, making him the first Kenyan to ever play in the Premier League.

He made his debut on 17 August 2013, in 1–0 away win against West Bromwich Albion. Wanyama made 24 appearances in his first season, but injuries hindered his efforts to make much of an impact in the team.

Under new manager Ronald Koeman, Wanyama came into his own in the 2014–15 season. He scored his first goal for the club in a 1–0 league victory over Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on 20 September 2014, after replacing James Ward-Prowse in the 69th minute. His next goal came in an 8–0 trouncing of Sunderland on 19 October 2014. Wanyama would score his third goal for the Saints in spectacular fashion, a 40-yard shot after Eldin Jakupović’s poor clearance fell straight to him, in what proved to be the only goal in a win over Hull City. His performances saw him awarded the league’s African Player of the Month for September, with him stating “It is wonderful being recognised as someone who has done well for his club.”

On 23 June 2016, Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur announced that they had reached an agreement with Southampton for the transfer of Wanyama, signing a five-year contract for a fee of £11 million. Wanyama had previously worked with Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino who brought him to Southampton in July 2013. Wanyama scored his first goal for the club on his home debut against Crystal Palace, in the 82nd minute of a 1–0 league win for Spurs. The goal made him the 138th different player to score for the club, extending its record for the most variety of goalscorers for a single club in the Premier League.

He has earned over 40 caps for the Kenyan national team since making his international debut in May 2007 at the age of 15.

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Mousa Dembélé

Mousa Dembélé (born 16 July 1987) (birth name Moussa Sidi Yaya Dembélé), is a Belgian footballer who plays as a central midfielder for Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League and the Belgium national football team, for whom he has achieved over 60 caps. He is regarded as one of the best box-to-box midfielders in Europe due to his excellent dribbling skills and ability to maintain possession.

Dembélé played for K. Berchem Sport as a youth. He started his professional career for Germinal Beerschot, a team in the Belgian Pro League. He made his debut on 24 April 2004 against Charleroi. In 2005, he signed for the youth section of Willem II, despite apparent interest from Eredivisie giants AFC Ajax.

Dembélé spent the 2005–06 season in the Eredivisie with Willem II. The team had a very poor season that year, but Dembélé nonetheless scored nine times. After the season, he attracted further interest from the bigger Eredivisie teams and was subsequently transferred to AZ in the summer of 2006.

In 2006–07, Dembélé was one of the most important players of Louis van Gaal’s team. They were poised to win the championship but on the last day lost the title to PSV and only finished third after losing 3–2 to Excelsior. AZ also lost the final of the KNVB Beker against AFC Ajax. Dembélé scored after two minutes played, but AZ lost 8–7 after a penalty shootout, with Dembélé scoring AZ’s fifth penalty attempt. AZ further lost the play-off final for qualification to the Champions League, again to Ajax. Dembélé scored six times that season.

The season of 2007–08 was a very disappointing season for AZ. They finished 12th, with Dembélé scoring four times for them. The 2008–09 season started disappointingly as well for Dembélé’s team after two defeats, but then AZ started to win more games and eventually won the championship. Dembélé was out injured from October until December with a knee injury, but on his return, he was hailed as being one of the players of the season in the Eredivisie.

Dembélé was said to be “edging closer” to join English Premier League club Birmingham , but on 12 August 2010, Dembélé declined a move to Birmingham in favour of London club Fulham. On 18 August 2010, Fulham announced that Dembélé had joined from AZ on a three-year deal for a fee of £5 million.

Dembélé made an excellent start to his career at Fulham. He made his début on 22 August 2010, coming on as a substitute against Manchester United. He capped his first start for the club with a goal, scoring the second of six goals against Port Vale in the League Cup on 25 August. The same week, Dembélé made his first league start against Blackpool in which he provided two assists. The first of the two was a cross to Bobby Zamora following a good run in the box, while the second gave Fulham a draw and a point; he dodged past a couple of Blackpool players before playing a good ball for an on-rushing Dickson Etuhu to make the score (and final result) 2–2.

Dembélé scored two league goals against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 11 September in a 2–1 win, his first league goals for Fulham. He then scored a great solo goal against Tottenham Hotspur, running from the halfway line before powerfully placing his shot beyond goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes. This was voted the Fulham “Goal of the Season” by the Fulham fans.

Dembélé transferred to Tottenham Hotspur on 29 August 2012 after Spurs triggered a £15 million release clause in his Fulham contract. He scored on his début against Norwich City on 1 September in a 1–1 home draw. On 21 February 2013, he scored a 90th-minute goal to help Spurs put Olympique Lyonnais out of the UEFA Europa League and qualify for the last 16 of the competition.

On 6 May 2016, Dembélé, despite not having been booked by the referee, was banned for six games by the Football Association for an eye gouge on Chelsea’s Diego Costa. The FA stated that “the standard punishment of three matches which would otherwise apply to this offence was clearly insufficient.”

Dembélé made his first international appearance on 20 May 2006 against Slovakia, coming on as a substitute for Luigi Pieroni. He scored his first international goal in October 2006 against Azerbaijan.

On 13 May 2014, Dembélé was named in Belgium’s squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

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