Aubameyang, Samatta named African Players of the Year; Arsenal to bid big for the former?

Photo by Oliver Hardt/Getty Images For MAN

The Confederation of African Football held its annual awards celebration on Thursday, with the big winner also getting a big rumor.

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang of Borussia Dortmund and Gabon was named the African Player of the Year, while the African-based honor of the same name went to 24-year-old Tanzanian striker Mbwana Aly Samatta of TP Mazembe.

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Manchester City’s Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast) finished second to Aubameyang, while Andre Ayew (Ghana) finished third.

OSAKA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 16: Mbwana Samatta of TP Mazembe in action during the FIFA Club World Cup fifth place match between Club America and TP Mazembe at Osaka Nagai Stadium on December 16, 2015 in Osaka, Japan. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
Mbwana Samatta of TP Mazembe (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)

Aubameyang was also the subject of a Spanish report linking Arsenal with a $60-plus million bid for the Borussia Dortmund frontman, who has 18 goals in 17 Bundesliga matches this year. That said, the same journalist stokeed the fire of the Karim Benzema to Arsenal rumors this summer.

As for the Full XI, dubbed “Africa Finest XI”, there’s a mixed bag of represented leagues.

Yaya, Ayew and Southampton’s Sadio Mane give the Premier League a league-best three players on the list. Serge Aurier (PSG) and Aymen Abdennour (Monaco) give Ligue 1 the runner-up spot with two players.

Algeria’s Yacine Brahimi plays at Porto, while national teammate Baghdad Bounedjah is Al Sadd’s player but back on loan at Tunisian side Etoile du Sahel.

Samatta is joined by TP Mazembe teammate Robert Kidiaba, the 39-year-old goalkeeper. Right back Mohamed Meftah plies his trade for USM Alger.

Aubameyang is the only Bundesliga player on the list.

As for the young player of the year, keep an eye on 20-year-old Warri Wolves player Etebo Peter Oghenekaro. The Nigerian midfielder drew rave reviews at the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations, according to CAF.