As Sadio Mane and Mo Salah are breaking records in Liverpool we decided to remember others African footballers who had a good career in the Premier League.
So here is NAIJ.com's list of 11 most important EPL players of all time who have African roots.
Played 242 matches under direction of Arsene Wenger for seven years and became part of historical ‘Invincible Arsenal’. Despite being underrated in the Cameroon national team, he was one of the strongest EPL defenders in the early 2000s.
10. Kolo Toure
This is another former Arsenal defender who won international recognition with his appearance for the Gunners. He is among the few players who won Premier League with two different clubs (in 2004 with Arsenal, i 2012 with Man City) and was very close to take it with third (in 2014 with Liverpool).
His personality won fans over wherever he went, especially in the Ivory Coast national team. Since September 2017 he joined coaching staff as assistant in Celtic’s team and in Ivorian Football Federation.
9. John Obi Mikel
With Frank Lampard and John Terry he was the irreplaceable part of Chelsea during 11 years. Nigerian midfielder won almost everything he could. Major honours are EPL titles in 2010 and 2015, UEFA Champions League cup in 2012.
8. Sadio Mane
Liverpool has now the best season start in their history (7 wins in 7 games) and Sadio Mane plays a key role in Klopp’s EPL success. His journey in England оver the past couple of years are very impressing but for him to climb higher in this list - he has to win something really big with his team.
7. Nwankwo Kanu
The former Nigerian forward retired from football in 2012 and has since spent almost all the time on charity. Today he is well known for his eponymous heart foundation that saved more than 500 lives till now.
As for football career, he is one of few players to have won the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League, UEFA Cup, Olympic Gold Medal and is regarded as one of the best players in African football history.
6. Emmanuel Adebayor
Despite of his checkered reputation, Adebayor did enough to record 97 Premier League goals. The Togo striker’s best performance was in Arsenal (2006-2009) but later he had a few good seasons in Tottenham Hotspurs too (2011-2015).
5. Mo Salah
In a debut season for Merseyside he scored 32 goals in EPL and broke the scoring record that was shared with Luis Suarez, Alan Shearer and Cristiano Ronaldo (31). Among all competitions there was 44 goals, placing him in the final three shortlist of FIFA the best award.
4. Riyad Mahrez
After Leicester team went down in history for winning the Premier League in 2015/16, his name is in the hearts of African football fans too. However, it is not time yet to summarize the results. Since Man City signed him in this summer there might be more chances to improve for Mahrez in UEFA Champions League.
3. Michael Essien
The Ghanaian midfielder has 168 appearances for Chelsea and as Obi Mikel, he has two Premier League titles with UCL cup. During his seven-year stint in England, Essien became one of the most important players in Chelsea’s squad. All his best honours related with west-London team as the best Blue’s period related with his performance too.
2. Yaya Toure
While England had the Neville brothers, Ivory Coast have the Toures. Yaya won three Premier League titles, scored almost 60 goals for Man City. Recent history wasn't kind to Toure – partly his own doing – but in years to come he should be remembered for what he was: one of the finest midfielders in Premier League history.
1. Didier Drogba
More than 100 goals scored for Chelsea, 4 Premier Leagues titles and Champions League cup - if there anyone who deserves to name himself as the best footballer of African history in the Premier League, it is Didier Drogba.
He is a big-game player who changed the way strikers of his type were thought of. He was well deserving of his king-like exit: Chelsea team-mates carried him off the pitch in his final performance at Stamford Bridge.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had earlier reported that Chelsea legend Frank Lampard welcomes his first child named 'Patricia Charlotte' with his 39-year-old partner Christine.
The TV presenter posted a picture of herself and the baby on the hospital bed flanked by the former Blues captain with the caption 'so in love'.
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