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Africa’s Brahimi –The Most Expensive Footballer in Portugal

A look at Algeria’s Yaccine Ibrahimi, the most expensive footballer in Portugal.

Footballers from the continent rarely get accorded recognition no matter their talent, the club or league they play for abroad.

Only a few have had top-notch ratings. However, in an unusual but deserved move, an African star today got fêted the most expensive player in a European top-tier league, to be precise in Portugal –one of the World’s most followed football championships.

Enter Yaccine Ibrahimi.

Born in the French capital Paris, the Algeria international commands a whopping €26m, the most for any player in the Portuguese Primera Liga according to KPMG Football Benchmark, a respected company focused on football statistics. The 28-year-old comes top spot out of a list of ten compiled players in the Portuguese domestic league whose performances have been feverishly evaluated the previous 12 months.

In its study, Football Benchmark based its findings on a wide range of issues among which were previous season contributions, a player’s age, remaining contract and lastly their clubs output.

Unlike the general yardstick used as a determinant in other divisions for the most expensive player, Yaccine is no Ronaldo or Messi who have an insatiable notoriety for plundering goals season after season with a sort of ease one can only blink to believe.

As a matter of fact, his overall goal return of nine is even dwarfed by Mali’s Moussa Marega, who’s Africa highest goal-getter in the same league with 22 goals, seven shy of equaling golden boot winner Benfica’s Jonas.

But Brahimi stands out chess puffed out and peerless in relation to input. He is Porto’s marquee and led The Dragons to their 28th league gong months ago –his first in four terms at the former European champions.

Preferring to star in the left wing but also not out of his comfort zone when fielded as a playmaker or at right flank, the erstwhile Stade Rennes man is described as the best dribbler of the current generation of Algerian players.

So Why Hasn’t He Still Joined the EPL or La Liga?

Yaccine-Ibrahimi2Players heading to the English Premier League or La Liga from Portugal have huge price tags slapped on them meant to ward off overtures from interested foreign outfits.

The Premeira Liga may not court the viewership that the EPL, Serie A or Bundesliga command but the Algerian’s displays haven’t gone unnoticed.

The 2014 BBC Player of the Year has been linked with all clubs including West Ham United who nearly secured his services.

The Hammers are a club with a broken dream this moment and had enquired over signing the ex-France youth star in a bid to get out of the current dungeon they’re hurled in.

Armed with information that the forward has ambition of testing himself in the EPL, West Ham tested the serial Portuguese league winners’ resolve last month when they tracked the forward.

Further helping soften the bone for the London club’s easy mastication, Brahimi rejected a revised deal from his current employers to clear the path.

With his deal running out June next year, Porto knew the balance will be ticking against them if they fail to sell before their prized possession turns a free agent in 2019.

President Jorge Costa opened talks with suitors over the player’s sale but the €60m release clause discouraged Hammers’ gaffer Manuel Pellegrini.

A Tactic of Wait and See

The Desert Foxes’ go-to-guy is marching towards his fourth stint at the Estadio Dragao and is a personage amongst fans. Insisting on not inking the dotted lines on renewed terms until elapse of his contract could see his ties with the outfit take a sour turn.

It is general belief that the 28-year-old is not in total rejection of committing to Porto but rather wants to evaluate what offers will occupy his desk next January which could then see him sign improved terms with Porto in a bid to help the club scoop huge sums in the event of a future transfer, according to reports.

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