Yakubu Ayegbeni Explains Why Mo Salah Isn’t the Best African Player in Premier League History

Yakubu Ayegbeni Explains Why Mo Salah Isn’t the Best African Player in Premier League History

Ero Samson
updated at February 24, 2024 at 5:46 PM
In this article:
Nigeria logo
Super Eagles logo
Super Eagles
South Africa
Didier Drogba logo
D. Drogba
-FIvory Coast logo
A. A. Okocha
--Nigeria logo
N. Kanu
-FNigeria logo
Mohamed Salah logo
M. Salah
Liverpool logoFEgypt logo
English Premier League logo
ENG Premier League
Liverpool logo
Chelsea logo
Middlesbrough logo
Portsmouth logo
Blackburn Rovers logo
Blackburn Rovers
Everton logo
Sadio Mané logo
S. Mané
Al Nassr FC logoFSenegal logo
  • A long list of African football stars have dominated the English Premier League
  • Mohamed Salah and Alex Iwobi are among the Africans currently playing in the EPL
  • Yakubu Ayegbeni has explained why the Liverpool star is not the best African to grace the league

Over the years, the English Premier League has been a showcase for numerous talented African footballers.

From Nigeria’s Nwankwo Kanu, who excelled at Arsenal, to Didier Drogba, who marked an era in Chelsea’s history, African players have consistently left their mark on the English league.

This trend shows no signs of slowing down, with Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah, continuing the legacy of his African predecessors and raising the bar with his exceptional goal-scoring ability.

Mo Salah, Nigeria, Premier LEague, Yakubu, Africans, Okocha
Mohamed Salah is challenged by Nathan Collins during the Premier League match between Brentford FC and Liverpool FC. Image: Gaspafotos/MB Media.
Source: Getty Images

With over 210 goal involvements in 252 Premier League appearances, according to data courtesy of Whoscored, the 31-year-old is widely regarded as Africa’s finest export to the English league.

However, despite Salah's success, Nigerian football legend, Yakubu Ayegbeni, holds a different opinion.

In a recent interview captured by Leagues Reporter, the Super Eagles icon has presented his own list of players whom he believes have surpassed even the esteemed former Chelsea star.

Yakubu on best African in the EPL

The 42-year-old, who scored 95 goals in his 252 appearances with Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Everton, and Blackburn, touched on who he deems as the best African to grace the Premier League.

The former Nigerian forward singled out Jay Jay Okocha, Didier Drogba, Kanu, Yaya Toure, Emmanuel Adebayor, and Sadio Mane as his top choices for the greatest Africans to have played in the EPL, placing them ahead of Salah.

When pressed on his exclusion of the Liverpool star, he explained:

"Majority of his goals are lucky goals. He is not good with the ball. He is not a World Class Player, in my opinion".

The Nigerian's remarks have sparked surprise among many, particularly given Salah's staggering numbers.

Nonetheless, a host of individuals have continued to react, with many ultimately acknowledging that opinions vary from person to person.

Rohr advice Osimhen

Sports Brief in another report stated that former coach of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, Gernot Rohr, advised Victor Osimhen on the ideal club to join.

The 25-year-old is the subject of interest from many European clubs, but the septuagenarian suggested that returning to Ligue 1 would suit the Napoli forward.

Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).