Turkish Super League top scorer Diagne sets his sights on Golden Shoe

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

Kasımpaşa's Senegalese forward Mbaye Diagne is the top scorer in the Turkish Super League with 16 goals in 14 matches. Diagne says he can win the prestigious European Golden Shoe that last went to Mohamed Salah, who scored 32 goals for Liverpool in the 2017-18 season

Senegalese international Mbaye Diagne was a relatively unknown name in Italy's fourth-tier AC Bra when Juventus discovered his talents.

After a two-year stint with the Italian powerhouse, which occasionally loaned him to other teams, Diagne first switched to Hungarian side Ujpest and later to China's TJ Teda. It wasn't until he made his latest move to Istanbul's Kasımpaşa where he has really shined after he joined earlier this year.

Today, he is the top scorer in the Turkish Super League with 16 goals in 14 matches and he is looking to achieve even more. He has his eyes on the European Golden Shoe award, in particular. It went to Liverpool's Mohamed Salah last time around for his 32 goals in the 2017-18 season. It will be a prestigious prize to cap Diagne's stellar streak and the Senegalese says he has faith he can achieve it.

Recently, he was hailed after his double rescued a point for his team in a 2-2 draw against Turkish giants Fenerbahçe.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Diagne talked about his ambitions.

"I think everything is possible. We have many matches to play and it is too early to speak about but if I can keep up the performance I have, I believe it is possible," he said about the possibility of winning the Golden Shoe.

Kasımpaşa is currently second in the Super League with 26 points - four less than leader Medipol Başakşehir. It has so enjoyed some rare success in the top-tier after managing to return in the 2007-08 season, following a 43-year-break.

Diagne says he wanted to make Kasımpaşa "happy" this season but his contract will end at the end of next season.

"Of course I want to play for a big team, be it in Turkey or Europe. I want to advance my career but I will assess any offer if it is to the interest of Kasımpaşa," he said about his future plans.

In Europe, he hasn't played in the Premier League, La Liga and Bundesliga.

"For my career, it is important I play in these leagues but this is not something I can decide on my own. Only God can decide what will happen next, where I will be next season," he says.

Diagne also heaps praise on Mustafa Denizli, veteran Turkish coach, who took the helm in Kasımpaşa in October.

"He is experienced and very helpful, especially to younger players. We are lucky to have him," he says.

On his role models, Diagne says he doesn't have any "idol" but he looks up to Ivorian international Didier Drogba, who recently retired from professional football after an illustrious career, Cameroonian international Samuel Eto'o and fellow Senegalese El-Hadji Diouf.

"I try to learn from them," he said.

Diagne's performance this season also earned him a spot with the Senegalese national team which he says is "a great honor." He donned the jersey for his homeland in three matches and says it is "a dream come true."

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