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Who is This Young Mali International Forward Scouted by Arsenal and Barcelona?

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Sidiki Maiga

Sidiki Maiga

Europe is seen as a heaven for young players trying to make it big. While there are great academies at Ajax, Barcelona and in most German clubs as well, the majority of African players end up at French clubs due to the language. One such African youngster has been on the cards of many top clubs such as Barcelona and Arsenal.

Sidiki Maiga is the player in question, the 16-year-old Mali U17 player has been turning heads when representing his country and we look into what makes him such a coveted player for some of the biggest clubs in Europe.

Another top Mali international but can he be the next Kanoute?

One of the greatest strikers’s that Mali had ever produced was Frederic Kanoute, who enjoyed a great spell at Sevilla and was constantly banging in the goals. Maiga is also a striker but unlike Kanoute who would only play up top, Sidika can play on either side as a winger as well.

Maiga plays for the Mali club, AS Real Bamako but his exploits for his country have been picked up by many. Maiga led the African team to a win in the U17 African Championship and Mali came in third in the U20 World Cup.

Maiga is a hybrid of a striker and winger, although he has an eye for goal, he plays down the right and is known to cut in. The youngster has blistering pace, which is an added advantage in this day and age of football. Maiga also has a great first touch and is blessed with a lot of techniques as well. He is known for his runs at the defence, though he can’t keep it up for long bursts, he is best suited to making short sprints with the ball at the opposition.

Sidiki Maiga by Prosper_Uwizeye

He is still young but has a great ability to squeeze out from tight spaces, another great skill for someone who is so young. Maiga has a lot of time on his hands to develop and more importantly will have to make a big decision about which club gets his signature if he is to move abroad to continue his growth. Sadly, his home club cannot keep hold of the gifted youngster and with so many options, making the right choice becomes even more important for the 16-year-old.

With the world at his feet, Maiga might be tempted by the La Masia academy and Arsenal academy but it also depends on where he feels comfortable. There are a ton of great academies for the Malian to hone on his skills and get better, this is not the last time you have heard about Sidiki Maiga, and at least we hope not.