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Prix Marc-Vivien Foe: Lille back Mandava to emulate Pepe and Osimhen

Following the Mozambique international’s nomination for the annual award, Les Dogues feel the left-back can emulate their former stars

Ligue 1 outfit Lille believe Reinildo Mandava can emulate Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen and Cote d’Ivoire’s Nicolas Pepe by winning the 2021 Prix Marc-Vivien Foe.

The Mozambican left-back made the shortlist for the accolade given to the best African player in the French elite division alongside Karl Toko-Ekambi (Cameroon & Olympique Lyon) and Alexandre Oukidja (Algeria & Metz).

Nayef Aguerd (Morocco & Rennes), Farid Boulaya (Algeria & Metz), Andy Delort (Algeria & Montpellier), and Idrissa Gueye (Senegal & Paris Saint-Germain) also made the cut.

Others include Tino Kadewere (Zimbabwe & Olympique Lyon), Gael Kakuta (DR Congo & RC Lens), Boulaye Dia (Senegal & Reims) and Seko Fofana (Cote d’Ivoire & Lens)

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While felicitating with the 27-year-old on his recent feats, Les Dogues are upbeat Mandava can match former players Pepe and Osimhen, who picked up the honours in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

“Huge congrats to Reinildo Mandava following his nomination for the Marc-Vivien Foe Prize, awarded to the best African player in Ligue 1. Fingers crossed our full-back can emulate recent winners Nicolas Pepe (2019) and Victor Osimhen (2020),” the French elite division outfit tweeted.

Thanks to his form in his maiden season in France, Nigeria’s Osimhen saw off competition from compatriot Moses Simon, Saint-Etienne’s Denis Bouanga, Montpellier’s Andy Delort, Monaco’s Islam Slimani plus Rennes’ trio of Mbaye Niang, Hamari Traore and Edouard Mendy to win the 2020 Prix Marc-Vivien Foe.

With that, he became the second Nigerian after Vincent Enyeama (2014) to claim the individual prize since its inception in 2009.

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Winners of this year’s edition will be decided by votes of the jury made up of African sports journalists.

In the ongoing 2020-21 campaign, Mandava has featured in 22 Ligue 1 games as Christophe Galtier’s men sit at the summit of Ligue 1 having amassed 66 points from 31 outings – three points ahead of Mauricio Pochettino’s PSG.

The former Belenenses man is expected to be in action when Lille travel to Stade Saint-Symphorien on Friday for their showdown versus Frederic Antonetti’s Metz.

The Maroons, who boast of 16 Africans in their squad, occupy the ninth position after amassing 42 points from 31 matches.

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