Best and worst of Africa's transfer deadline day movers

Expect African players to be at the heart of some of the big storylines of transfer deadline day, with the likes of Thomas Partey, Wilfried Zaha and Ismaila Sarr all the subject of intense speculation over the last few months.

However, there have been some decidedly mixed fortunes for the African players who have secured big transfers on deadline day in recent windows, with a high-profile last-minute move sometimes representing the precursor to an underwhelming spell with new employers.

Ahead of transfer deadline, Ed Dove runs down his best and worst of Africa's previous deadline-day movers.

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Too Good: Wilfried Zaha

Starting with a player who's been linked with a deadline-day move on Monday, Zaha has been there before, having previously moved clubs on the final day of the window in both January 2014 and February 2015.

On both occasions, he was leaving Manchester United -- first on loan to Cardiff City, and then, most successfully, returning permanently to Crystal Palace in a deal worth an initial £3 million.

It was a remarkable bit of business by the Eagles, who have enjoyed the services of one of the Premier League's most electric frontmen for the past five and a half seasons.

Admittedly, there have been incessant rumours linking him with a move away from Selhurst Park in the intervening years, but Zaha has helped Palace pull off some magnificent giant-slayings and helped them keep their heads above water.

If he does get his move away -- now or in the future -- then Palace will doubtless make a significant profit on their £3 million outlay.

Too Bad: Hossam Ghaly

Look away now, Tottenham Hotspur fans.

Spurs' swoop for Ghaly from Feyenoord on the final day of the January 2006 window had potential; he was tenacious, technically proficient, and versatile.

However, his Lilywhites career ended in disgrace when he petulantly threw his shirt to the floor after being subbed against Derby County 34 fixtures later, having earlier come on as a substitute himself.

It was a show of disrespect for the hallowed kit that Spurs fans could not excuse, and even Harry Redknapp's pleas for the club's fans to 'forgive and forget' 18 months after the Egyptian's mini rebellion fell on deaf ears.

He'd never play for the club again, and was sold to Saudi side Al-Nassr after a largely miserable three years.

Too Good: Sadio Mane

This one needs little explanation.

Southampton pulled off a masterstroke when they signed Mane from Red Bull Salzburg for a relatively meagre £11.8 million in September 2014, launching a remarkable six-year spell in English football.

Two years later, he moved to Liverpool for an eye-watering £22.2 million profit, having scored 21 goals across two seasons with the Saints.

Of course, his finest hours have come with the Reds -- one Premier League title, two Champions League finals, one winner's medal -- but his outstanding run in English football truly began with that deadline-day steal by Southampton.

Too Bad: Benni McCarthy

South Africa legend McCarthy doesn't deserve to be remembered for the flabby, ignominious end to his storied career at West Ham United.

A deadline-day arrival from Blackburn Rovers in 2010, the hitman sought to re-launch his career and earn a spot in South Africa's World Cup squad ahead of the first mondial to be hosted on African soil.

That obviously didn't work out too well; the forward was injured on his debut, and was released a year later after being publicly criticised by Hammers owner Karren Brady, who claimed the forward was "more devoted to filling his belly than filling the net."

Too Good: Steven Pienaar

Sticking with the South African theme, but on a more positive note, Pienaar ended an underwhelming stay at Tottenham Hotspur by returning to previous club Everton - initially on loan -- on the final day of the window in January 2012.

The versatile attacker hadn't shown his best form at Spurs following a £3 million move a year earlier, with fitness issues preventing him from truly settling into the team.

Back at Everton, and linking up down the Toffess' left flank with old sidekick Leighton Baines, Pienaar rediscovered his best form.

Memorably, he netted the Blues' 1000th Premier League goal in victory against his former club Tottenham, 11 months after his return.

Too Bad: Eric Djemba-Djemba

Here's evidence that even the great Sir Alex Ferguson got things wrong every now and again.

Djemba-Djemba wasn't a dreadful player, but he was no Roy Keane, and mercifully, his Manchester United stay was brought to a premature end when he signed for Aston Villa on deadline day 2005.

David O'Leary clearly felt that he could unlock something in the Cameroon midfielder that Sir Alex had failed to find.

Needless to say, the former Nantes man wasn't able to win the critics over, and after 11 appearances across two years, was allowed to leave to Burnley - on loan - and then moved further afield to Qatar.

Too Good: Asamoah Gyan

One of the most exciting movers on deadline day in 2010, Gyan arrived at Sunderland in a £13 million deal from Stade Rennais, arriving at the Stadium of Light on the back of his star turn for Ghana at the 2010 World Cup.

The fee was a club record for six years until it was broken by Didier N'Dong's arrival from FC Lorient, and while Gyan's stay in the North East was brief -- he moved to Al Ain on loan 13 months after his signing -- it certainly was memorable.

The highlight, perhaps, was a 94th-minute equaliser against fierce local rivals Newcastle United in January, while there was also a double on his full Prem debut against Stoke City, plus strikes against Tottenham Hotspur and in a 3-0 victory away at Chelsea.

The only disappointment, for player and club, was that Gyan's stay on Wearside was so brief.

"He's a striker who doesn't give up," ex-Ghana and Fulham full-back John Paintsil told ESPN.

"When he came to England he did so well at Sunderland, the fans loved him, for the way he opened up defenders, and his dissecting runs.

"It was a great moment for him when he came to England."

Too Bad: Alex Iwobi

One of the big movers of deadline day in August 2019, Iwobi signed a five-year contract with Everton after leaving boyhood club Arsenal, with the deal only being announced four hours after the window officially shut.

The Nigeria international hadn't been expected to depart the Emirates Stadium, although the arrival of Nicolas Pepe in a £72 million deal from LOSC Lille ultimately prompted Unai Emery to conclude that he was surplus to requirements.

To date, the transfer -- which could rise to £34 million -- looks like a miserable bit of business for the Toffees; Iwobi scored just once during his maiden season at Goodison Park, and failed to contribute a single assist.

It remains to be seen whether things will improve this term, as the arrival of James Rodriguez has reduced Iwobi -- for now at least -- to a back-up role at Everton.