Who were South African football's five best exports in 2017?

Lebo Mothiba of South Africa Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

It has been a tough year for South Africa's overseas-based players, with few making the impact they might have liked at their clubs in 2017.

In this feature, KweséESPN picks out five who have shone brighter than the rest given where they are in their respective careers.

Mihlali Mayambela (Deregfors, Sweden)

Mayambela spent the season on loan at Swedish second-tier side Degerfors from top-flight Djurgardens as it was thought the quieter social scene in his new home would help him to concentrate on football.

So it proved, as he became an instant regular, netting seven goals from the wing position in 29 starts. Some of them were top strikes too as he demonstrated his excellent technique in a less pressured environment.

The younger brother of Chippa United winger Mark Mayambela will now want to prove he can cut it in Sweden's elite league.

Lebo Mothiba (Valenciennes, France)

Mothiba is another player using a loan move to further his reputation, this time in France's Ligue 2 where he turns out for Valenciennes on a temporary basis from Lille.

He spent the second half of the 2016/17 season at Valenciennes as well, and has managed 11 goals in 23 starts through the year. He has been most prolific in the first half of this season with nine goals in 16 starts, but still only 21, expect more from the attacker moving forward.

Mothiba's form earned him a call-up to the Bafana Bafana squad, although as yet, the U-23 international is yet to feature for the senior side.

Dino Ndlovu (Qarabag, Azerbaijan)

Ndlovu was South Africa's lone representative in the UEFA Champions League group stages this season where he played against Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Roma. He was largely lively presence when he did feature, although a red card for two bookable offences against Atletico blotted his copybook somewhat.

To date, Ndlovu has 17 goals in the calendar year, making him comfortably South Africa's most prolific forward, both overseas and in the South African domestic game, although he hasn't truly received the recognition he deserves from the national side.

There is now talk of a move to China on the cards in January, and perhaps tellingly, Ndlovu was left out of the Qarabag squad at the weekend.

Luther Singh (Sporting Braga B, Portugal)

Sporting Braga's B team, playing in the Portuguese second tier, may not represent the most exalted of environments for a foreign player, but Singh has still been making a name for himself after making the move to Europe.

For a young star coming through, he has shown tremendous maturity and has taken on some of the goalscoring burden for the side with six strikes in 13 starts this season.

He joined the club at the start of the year from Swedish second-tier side GAIS, and managed a single goal in seven starts in the second half of the campaign.

Bongani Zungu (Amiens, France)

Zungu has perhaps been the stand-out performer of all of South Africa's overseas exports this year, having initially shown excellent form for Portuguese top-flight side Vitoria Guimaraes in the second half of last season.

He helped them to fourth in the league and qualification for the UEFA Europa League last term, but then moved to a bigger competition in Ligue 1 ahead of the 2017/18 campaign, where he now turns out for Amiens.

The 25-year-old quickly became a regular with the newly promoted side, winning rave reviews for his powerful displays in the heart of the midfield.