The Premier League has hosted some of the greatest African footballers in history.
Asamoah Gyan, Samuel Eto’o and George Weah have all plied their trade in England’s top-flight over the years having risen to iconic status in Ghana, Cameroon and Liberia respectively.
However, one thing that those three players have in common is the fact that they either only played in the Premier League very briefly or during the twilight years of their professional career.
African players in the Premier League
That’s not a criticism by any means because we’re incredibly grateful that they ever played in England, but they wouldn’t necessarily be considered for the division’s greatest African XI.
And that’s because other footballing geniuses from the rich and vibrant continent have not only spread their magic in the Premier League, but have done so on a consistent and long-term basis.
Besides, many African players have lifted the prestigious trophy itself and others have challenged for records within the competition such as joining the iconic 100-goal club.
Sancho wages and agent fees are all agreed (Football Terrace)
And countless others will likely follow in their footsteps with a number of African stars such as Hakim Ziyech, Wilfried Zaha, Wilfred Ndidi and many more showing off their talent on English shores.
The Premier League’s greatest African XI
But who would make that aforementioned African XI? Well, here at GIVEMESPORT, that’s what we’ve sought to work out by rewarding the Premier League’s finest players from the continent.
Sadly for Eto’o, Weah and co, we are indeed taking their time in the competition in isolation and make no mistake that there was plenty of competition, particularly in the attacking positions.
GIVEMESPORT’s Kobe Tong says
I don’t know about you, but I think that team would take some serious beating. There’s just so much quality across the pitch.
The hardest positions to choose were certainly the goalkeeper and left-back with Benoît Assou-Ekotto – who famously admitted football wasn’t his passion – narrowly edging out Celestine Babayaro and Grobelaar largely getting the pick on prestige.
The Liverpool shot-stopper barely played in the Premier League era and we don’t doubt for a second that Edouard Mendy will usurp him if he maintains his form at Chelsea for a little longer.
However, those tough decisions aside, certain areas of the pitch simply picked themselves with Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure and Michael Essien proving absolute shoo-ins through the XI’s spine.
It’s hard to look past two Golden Boot-winning wingers in Mane and Salah, who helped lead Liverpool to 99 points, while there are no less than two ‘Invincibles’ across the back four.
In other words, it’s fair to say that the African continent and its incredible nations have given English football some of its finest ever players and boy do they come together for a stupendous XI.