Who is Alhassan Yusuf, the midfielder replacing Ndidi for AFCON?

Alhassan Yusuf set to replace Wilfred Ndidi at AFCON || Image credit: Imago

Who is Alhassan Yusuf, the midfielder replacing Ndidi for AFCON?

Faruq Ibrahim 18:34 - 03.01.2024

Everything you need to know about Alhassan Yusuf, the Kano-born midfielder, replacing the injured Wilfred Ndidi for AFCON.

Alhassan Yusuf, the talented Nigerian midfielder, has been making waves in the European football scene and is now set to replace Wilfred Ndidi in the Nigerian squad for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON). Born on July 20, 2000, in Kano, Nigeria, Yusuf's journey in football is both inspiring and remarkable.

Early Beginnings

Yusuf's football journey began at FC Hearts in Nigeria. His talent was recognized early by the Tiki Taka Development Group, a Swedish-based academy with operations in Nigeria. This academy played a pivotal role in shaping his career, providing him with the opportunity to showcase his skills in Europe at the prestigious Gothia Cup. 

It was at this tournament, particularly the 2017 edition, that Yusuf's abilities shone, catching the attention of IFK Göteborg. His impressive performance in the Gothia Cup, a tournament known for featuring some of football's greatest talents like Xabi Alonso and Andrea Pirlo, led to a trial and eventually a permanent move to IFK Göteborg.

Rise to Prominence

Yusuf quickly made a name for himself at IFK Göteborg. His exceptional skills on the field earned him the Allsvenskan Young Player of the Year in 2019, a testament to his remarkable talent and hard work.

Alhassan Yusuf win Young Player award in Sweden
Alhassan Yusuf win Young Player award in Sweden

 His performances were characterised by his ability to dictate games with accurate and quick passing, as well as his defensive prowess. These skills not only showcased his versatility as a midfielder but also drew comparisons to renowned players like N’Golo Kanté.

A New Chapter at Antwerp

In 2021, Yusuf's career took a significant leap when he signed with Belgian club Royal Antwerp. The transfer, valued at around €1 million, was a testament to his growing reputation in European football.

 At Antwerp, Yusuf continued to impress, becoming a mainstay in the midfield and even capturing the Player of the Month award in one of the seasons. His market value soared, indicating his rising status in the football world.

Alhassan Yusuf was PulseSports30 #23
Alhassan Yusuf was PulseSports30 #23

A Star on the International Stage

While Yusuf has not yet been capped for the Nigerian national team, his inclusion in the provisional list for AFCON speaks volumes about his potential and the expectations placed on him. His performance in the UEFA Champions League, where he scored on his debut, further cements his status as a player of international calibre.

Looking Ahead

Alhassan Yusuf's journey from a young talent in Nigeria to a rising star in European football is a story of determination, skill, and passion. As he steps in to replace Ndidi for AFCON, all eyes will be on him to see if he can translate his club's success to the international stage. 

His story is not just about football; it's about the potential of youth and the boundless opportunities that come with talent and hard work.

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