Okocha, Drogba and the Five Best African Players To Play in the Premier League As Yakubu Snubs Salah

Okocha, Drogba and the Five Best African Players To Play in the Premier League As Yakubu Snubs Salah

Ero Samson
updated at February 24, 2024 at 8:47 PM
In this article:
Mohamed Salah logo
M. Salah
Liverpool logoFEgypt logo
Sadio Mané logo
S. Mané
Al Nassr FC logoFSenegal logo
Yaya Touré logo
Y. Touré
Qingdao FC logoMIvory Coast logo
A. A. Okocha
--Nigeria logo
Didier Drogba logo
D. Drogba
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Yakubu Ayegbeni logo
Y. Ayegbeni
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ENG Premier League
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  • The Premier League has become a good stomping ground for African players in recent years
  • Drogba and Okocha are amongst the many players of African descent to have graced the league
  • Sports Brief takes a look at five of the best African players to ever play in the Premier League

African players in the English Premier League are once again in the spotlight, thanks to Nigeria football legend Yakubu Ayegbeni.

The 42-year-old, who racked up an impressive 95 goals during his active years in English football, recently shared his thoughts on the best African players to have graced the league.

Ayegbeni's list, however, notably excludes Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, with the Nigerian attributing Salah's goal-scoring prowess to sheer luck.

Mohamed Salah, Premier League, Nigeria, Yakubu, Liverpool
Yakubu Ayegbeni has attributed Mohamed Salah's Premier League goals to sheer luck. Image: Ryan Pierse.
Source: Getty Images

Nonetheless, amid the buzz that Ayegbeni’s pick has continued to generate, Sports Brief highlights the five best African players to grace the Premier League.

Best African players in Premier League history

Mo Salah

It's safe to say that the 31-year-old would be a top pick for the best African player in the Premier League, unless you're Ayegbeni, of course.

The Egyptian, having failed to impress during his initial stint with Chelsea, has achieved incredible success since returning to the league with Liverpool. The former Basel forward has contributed to over 210 goals in 252 Premier League appearances.

Didier Drogba

Largely adorned by Chelsea fans, the Ivorian didn't have the smoothest of transitions to the Premier League.

However, following a challenging debut season in 2004/05, the resilience of the combative forward shone through.

By the end of his first stint at Chelsea, Drogba had netted 157 goals in 341 matches. His pivotal role was evident as the Blues clinched their inaugural Champions League trophy in 2012 with a victory over Bayern Munich.

Yaya Toure

After moving from Barcelona in 2010, the Ivorian midfielder left a lasting impact on the league.

During his peak in the 2013/14 season, Toure scored 24 goals, playing a pivotal role in leading Manchester City to their second Premier League title.

Despite facing challenges and falling out of favour under Pep Guardiola, he secured a third crown in 2017/18. Toure, at his best, was regarded as one of the most dominant midfielders the league had ever seen.

Jay-Jay Okocha

So good he was named twice. The mercurial Nigerian was undoubtedly one of the most skilful players ever seen when he had the ball at his feet.

Okocha spent four years with Sam Allardyce's Bolton in a remarkable era for the Trotters. The Nigerian dazzled fans with numerous glorious memories. The iconic midfielder, alongside Youri Djorkaeff and Ivan Campo, transformed the club from relegation candidates to European challengers.

Sadio Mane

The Senegalese improved through his years in the English league, steadily progressing from his time at Southhampton to his elite stint at Liverpool.

The 31-year-old formed a formidable trio alongside Roberto Firminho and Salah, amassing over 120 goal involvements and clinching a famous Premier League title during his eight years in the English league.

Adebayo wants Osimhen in EPL

Sports Brief in another report stated that former Arsenal forward, Emmanuel Adebayor, wants Victor Osimhen to join a Premier League outfit.

The immediate future of the Nigerian has been up in the air, with a host of clubs vying for his signature.

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).