Alex Iwobi and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have both made CAF’s top 10 shortlist for African Player of the Year, as announced on Friday morning.
The official account for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) tweeted out the nominees for the award, including Premier League stars like Mohamed Salah, Riyad Mahrez and Sadio Mane alongside Arsenal duo Aubameyang and Iwobi.
— CAF (@CAF_Online) December 14, 2018
Aubameyang has certainly had a strong 2018, scoring 22 goals and assisting 7 despite moving to a new club in a new league. Of course, it’s hard to look past Salah’s 34 goals and 13 assists for Liverpool, even if he did have the advantage of already being settled in a much better performing team for most of the year.
Meanwhile, Iwobi’s goalscoring hasn’t reached those same levels, though his creative contributions are very similar, with 3 goals and 10 assists for the year.
That’s in addition to the fact the 22-year-old is consistently involved in the build-up to Arsenal’s goals, even if he doesn’t play the final ball. He’s made himself a reputation for providing ‘pre-assists’ in 2018. Plus, whilst Salah is yet to score or assist against the big six in five appearances this season, Iwobi has a goal and an assist in just four outings.
It would be a surprise to see the Nigerian international win the award, but he’d certainly be up there for one of the most improved players of the year. Regardless of who wins, congratulations to both Iwobi and Aubameyang for their nominations!