A lukewarm summer and autumn haven’t prevented Manchester City’s towering Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure being installed as 3/100 favourite to win BBC African Footballer of the year.
Voted for by listeners to BBC radio from a shortlist compiled via a poll of international sports journalists, Toure will be winning for the second successive year if chosen.
Yet, given he would become only the second player in the history of the award, after Nigerian magician Jay Jay Okocha, to win two years running, there could be cause to take him on in the market.
Players of the world-straddling quality of George Weah and Chelsea’s Didier Drogba only earned the award on one occasion.
Meanwhile a low-key World Cup and a start to 2014/15 stand in stark contrast to a 2013/14 campaign when he reinvented himself as a prolific goalscorer, which could count against him in the public vote.
He’s joined on the shortlist by 10/1 shot and fellow countryman Gervinho, who has utterly reinvented himself at Roma following a gruelling spell with Arsenal.
Meanwhile, 50/1 shots Vincent Enyeama of Lille, Porto’s Yacine Brahimi and Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang round out the list.
Both Nigeria stopper Enyeama and Algeria’s Brahimi contributed to their countries outstripping the Elephants to reach the World Cup knockout stages after excellent seasons.
Given Christopher Katongo won the 2012 award for skippering unfancied Zambia to African Cup of Nations glory, such international achievements could swing voters away from the hot favourite.
Super Eagles gloveman Enyeama had a standout year after being recalled from on loan obscurity in Israel by Les Dogues boss Rene Girard.
The 95-cap international proved Girard right with an incredible 21 Ligue 1 clean sheets.
Meanwhile Brahimi’s strong form has continued into this term, where Toure’s has dimmed.
Porto’s summer acquisition has hit four goals and two assists in his first four games at Champions League level in 2014/15.