In the five rounds of Premier League fixtures prior to Yannick Bolasie heading off to the African Cup of Nations, the Crystal Palace midfielder sat fifth among midfielders for touches in the final third.
This was despite only Stoke having fewer touches in the final third than Crystal Palace in the same period of time.
Bolasie’s impact hasn’t been especially sorely missed since as Palace have won all three matches to coincide with his absence.
It is now 7/4 that Bolasie is still a Crystal Palace player on February 3rd, with 2/5 the price that he has moved onto pastures new.
The 25-year-old is not only saving his best form for the Premier League, as he was also the stand-out player during the day two action at the African Cup of Nations, where both Group B opening matches ended 1-1.
Bolasie scored the Democratic Republic of Congo’s equaliser against Zambia and was a constant menace throughout, first from a position on the left flank and then when given more of a free role.
He had the most dribbles on the pitch and hit the target with three of his five shots.
Of the bigger Premier League clubs, Manchester City could do worse than make an offer for Bolasie, even if it would be hard for them to find the funds because of Financial Fair Play regulations.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men were especially guilty of slow build-up play against Arsenal and lack that attacking midfielder that really wants to take on the opposition.
For more of a mid-table Premier League club, another player to impress on day two of the African Cup of Nations was in the other Group B clash that ended 1-1 between Tunisia and Cape Verde.
Tunisians rarely venture to the Premier League, but Radhi Jaidi was a defensive stalwart for Bolton and Birmingham, Mehdi Nafti was a key performer to help get the latter promoted to the top flight and Hatem Trabelsi may have flopped at Man City, but he was previously close to an Arsenal move.
Yassine Chikhaoui is the key player of the current Tunisian crop and would surely have secured a move from FC Zurich before now had he not been plagued with injury problems in recent seasons.
Aston Villa are one club desperately short of creativity after failing to score in five straight Premier League matches, while Sunderland are another that could profit from some extra imagination in the final third.
Chikhaoui has also scored three goals and claimed another two assists in five Europa League encounters this season.