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Five Africans who could make their debuts this weekend

Africa's stars were some of the major protagonists of the transfer window, with some of the continent's biggest names moving clubs since the last matchday across Europe's major leagues.

Following the international break, we now have an opportunity to see some of the movers in action as domestic action resumes.

Here, we profile five African players who could be set to make their debuts for their new clubs this weekend.

Giannelli Imbula ended his disappointing spell at Stoke City with a loan move to Toulouse, and a return to Ligue 1, where he once starred with Olympique de Marseille.

The Franco-Congolese defensive midfielder remains a fine talent even if he rarely showed his true colours in England, and if he can rediscover anything close to his previous form in France, he could be a major asset for Pascal Dupraz's side.

Le TFC coach has vowed that Imbula will get game time as he looks to return to peak physical condition, and the 24-year-old could get his opportunity against Troyes this weekend.

Max Gradel also returned to France after struggling to establish himself at Bournemouth and has been one of Toulouse's star men after moving to the Stade Municipal on loan - could Imbula follow suit?

Wilfried Bony became Africa's then most expensive player of all time when he left Swansea City for Manchester City in January 2015, but he never truly demonstrated his qualities at the Etihad Stadium.

He scored just twice during his first season, but while that meagre tally could have been explained by the Ivorian's adapting to life at a bigger club, his toils on loan at Stoke City last term - he managed two goals all year - suggest a more terminal decline.

The 28-year-old netted 25 times in 54 league outings during his previous tenure at the Liberty Stadium, and with Jordan Ayew and Tammy Abraham yet to convince, the Swans need Bony back to his best.

Keita Balde: AS Monaco may have pulled off one of the coups of the window when they signed Balde from Lazio.

The Senegal international has warned that he's not the new Kylian Mbappe, but his movement, pace and finishing ability will surely remind ASM fans of the departed Paris Saint-Germain wonderkid.

Balde had been linked with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, and aged just 22, don't be surprised if some of the clubs higher up the food chain than Monaco poach the West African in a season or two.

He netted 16 times in 31 appearances for Lazio last term - once more than Mbappe managed for Monaco - and expect Keita to terrorise Ligue 1 defences this term...beginning with OGC Nice on Saturday.

Serge Aurier: It remains to be seen whether Aurier will make his Tottenham Hotspur debut against Everton this weekend after signing for a bargain £23 million from Paris Saint-Germain on deadline day.

The right-back is an ideal replacement for Kyle Walker, and if he can limit his off (and on)-field controversies, he has the potential to even surpass the England international and new Manchester City man.

Mauricio Pochettino has cooled the suggestion that Aurier will immediately make the starting XI after an arduous international break, although there are doubts about Kieran Trippier's fitness.

Wahbi Khazri finally got his wish to escape Sunderland when he was loaned out to Stade Rennais, and has already outlined his determination to get on the field and represent his new club.

Khazri was never truly utilised consistently and effectively by David Moyes in the Premier League season, but there were glimpses of excellence - including with set pieces - both for the Black Cats and at the Africa Cup of Nations with Tunisia.

Rennes face Marseille on Sunday evening, and with Yoann Gourcuff injured, don't be surprised if Khazri gets the opportunity to make an immediate impact back in Ligue 1.

Ed Dove is the Soccer Editor for KweséESPN. Follow him on Twitter @EddyDove.

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