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Five dodgy deals involving African players

Benjamin Moukandjo of Cameroon during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Image

By and large, there's a lot to get excited about as far as the transfer window is concerned for African players, with many of the continent's stars securing moves.

Admittedly, the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Jean Seri may have missed out on transfers, but Franck Kessie's move to AC Milan and Tottenham Hotspur's swoop for Serge Aurier are deals that have got us very excited indeed.

However, it wasn't a flawless window for African talent, and here are five moves which have left us scratching our heads...for one reason or another.

Benjamin Moukandjo to Jiangsu Suning: This signing is a great deal for the Chinese side, who rescued Moukandjo from relegated FC Lorient, but might the Cameroon captain regret spending some of his prime years outside Europe's major leagues?

At 28, he's in his prime, while his stock is high after skippering the Indomitable Lions to the Africa Cup of Nations title and scoring 13 goals in each of the last two Ligue 1 campaigns.

Despite interest from the Premier League, he opted for the side who were then second from bottom in the Chinese Super League, and may have missed his best opportunity of joining a club with designs on major silverware.

Ryad Boudebouz > Real Betis: This is a pretty similar story to Moukandjo, although not quite as marked.

Boudebouz was one of the outstanding individuals in Ligue 1 last season, finally realising - consistently - the quality he demonstrated on occasion for SC Bastia and Sochaux, and ended the campaign with 11 goals and nine assists.

Indeed, he was influential as MHSC avoided the drop, and was obviously primed for bigger and better things.

Now 27, his next move needed to be a big one, and so to opt for Betis - who, like Montpellier, finished 15th in their league last season -- seemed like something of a sideways move.

Admittedly, Andalusia is an attractive destination - just as Rafael van der Vaart or Denilson - but is it really the kind of venue where Boudebouz can win silverware?

Nabil Bentaleb to Schalke 04: While Moukandjo may regret not aiming a little higher when he left Les Merlus, we reckon Tottenham Hotspur might yet regret allowing Bentaleb to leave.

The Algeria international appeared not to see eye to eye with Mauricio Pochettino - and competition in the Spurs midfield was fierce - but he demonstrated his class on loan at Schalke last term before securing a permanent deal this summer.

A reported fee of £16 million is an absolute steal for the talented 22-year-old, who scored against RasenBallsport Leipzig in Schalke's Bundesliga opener, and Spurs may well regret parting ways with one of Africa's brightest prospects.

Medhi Benatia: Of course, Benatia is a classy centre-back and, at 30, should still have a few years left in the tank.

However, one or two eyebrows were raised when Juventus opted to part with €20 million to make his loan move permanent after a thoroughly underwhelming loan spell in Turin last season.

Injuries have regrettably been regular nemeses of the Morocco defender in recent seasons - he hasn't made more than 14 league starts in a single season since 2013-14 - and it remains to be seen whether the Old Lady can rely on him.

Daniele Rugani appears to be a more talented replacement for Leonardo Bonucci in the present, and even when Andrea Barzagli does hang up his boots, Benatia's hardly a long-term option is he?

Aboubakar Kamara to Fulham: 22-year-old Franco-Mauritian frontman Kamara is a talented forward, and demonstrated his class on occasion last term when he netted 10 goals as Amiens returned to Ligue 1.

However, scoring against defences in Ligue 2 - the likes of Tours, Orleans and Gazelec Ajaccio - isn't perhaps ideal preparation for life in the Championship, where Kamara will come up against a much better quality of centre-back.

A fee of £5.35 million - as reported by Sky Sports - represents quite a considerable outlay on a player who, at 22, shouldn't be as wet behind the ears as he occasionally seems.

Fulham are losing Sone Aluko to a rival - Reading - for a similar fee, and there are some doubts about whether Kamara could match the 18 decisive contributions the Nigeria international managed last term.