The African presence in English Premier League

If a nation of players outside of England should be highlighted, then the history of African talent in the English Premier League deserves the honours. Let us look at today’s greatest African footballers to grace the worlds most popular division, the English Premier League.

Pierre Emerick Aubameyang


Winner of the golden boot award 18/19 and Arsenal’s current lead striker, Aubameyang has wasted no time in putting his name amongst the legendary African players of the past. In his short time spent in the Premier League, he has already scored fifty-six goals. 

The speed and finishing ability of Pierre has put him amongst the elite, when “the greatest striker” in the world conversation occurs, expect Aubameyang’s name to be mentioned. 

Wearing the captain’s armband, Aubameyang has achieved fifty-six goals from his ninety-four appearances at Arsenal, adding to his career total of over two hundred goals.  He played in France and Germany before his life in England, but I think Arsenal got lucky snatching the striker during his prime goal-scoring years. 

Years in the Premier League: 2 years.

Games Played: 94 appearances. 

Goals Scored in the EPL: 56 goals. 

Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez

Mahrez has not played as many games like others in our list, but the young twenty-nine-year-old has time to evolve. The fight to find a place on the first squad at Manchester City is a struggle, but through his sixty-six appearances, he is shown signs of greatness. 

After the youngster honed his skills in France, Leicester City helped build the winger into an elite footballer. At the time, Leicester was in a division below the Premier League, but in 2014 during his debut year, the West Midlands club secured promotion. 

The success for Mahrez continued, after Leicester City shocked the world and captured the EPL title in 2017, Mahrez signed for Manchester City and repeated his previous season’s celebrations by winning the EPL league title in consecutive years (at different clubs). 

Through his English Championship promotion and EPL successes, it’s hard to forget that Mahrez is just twenty-six years old. He has appeared in more Premier League matches than any other player on our list, the youngest player with the most experience could eventually build a future legend. 

Years in the Premier League: 5 years.

Games Played: 224 appearances. 

Goals Scored in the EPL: 19 goals. 

Mo Salah

Mohammed Salah (r)

Little needs to be said for the current Premier League Champion and top goal scorer Mohammed Salah, helping Liverpool to their first-ever Premier League title and he lifted the Champions League trophy the year prior. Salah is heading towards legendary status with his solo and team achievements. Salah makes Liverpool a favourite according to SBR, with fans and the bookmakers to win each week.

A brief stint for Chelsea in 2014 just wasn’t the right timing, and Salah was almost immediately loaned out to Italian clubs Fiorentina and Roma for the majority of his Chelsea contract. In a complete circle, Salah found himself back in the Premier League when Liverpool purchased the winger from Roma in 2017. 

Since his return and transition into a forward from a winger, the African star has flourished inside Anfield.  He went on to break Premier League records by scoring thirty-two goals in thirty-six league games during his first season back. The following season he was the joint top goal scorer and helped Liverpool secure the Champions League trophy. Last season, Salah played a key role up front for and helped them win Liverpool’s first EPL league title in thirty years. 

The 2020/2021 season has already kick-started for the star, he scored a hat-trick in the opening game, therefore, becoming the first player in Liverpool history to score in four consecutive opening matchdays (17/18, 18/19, 19/20, 20/21 EPL seasons). Because Salah scored his 100th goal for Liverpool this year, he also became the first player to reach this milestone in twelve years and the third fastest in Liverpool history. 

Years in the Premier League: 4 years.

Games Played: 129 appearances. 

Goals Scored in the EPL: 83 goals.

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