Premier League: Top five African players

Didier Drogba, Kanu & Jay-Jay Okocha are some of the best African footballers to have played in the Premier League

Eleanor Moran
Published 04/12/2013 15:59 by Eleanor Moran, read by 7,841 people.


Many African players have lit up the Premier League over the years.

Here are five, though, who not only lit up the league - but also left a lasting impression.

5. Jay-Jay Okocha

The Nigerian midfielder graced the Premier League for Bolton in a four-year spell. He was known for his trickery, skill and unusual flair. He steered Bolton away to safety in his first season, scoring seven crucial goals, including a Goal of the Season against West Ham.

He became a fan favourite, earning the nickname "Jay-Jay – so good they named him twice". He played close to 150 games for Bolton and led them to their first cup final in nine years in 2004. He was eventually named Bolton captain in 2005. 

4. Lucas Radebe

The tough-tackling central defender was a prominent part of Leeds United's success in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The South African was at the club for a total of 11 years but it was the late 1990s and the early 2000s where he really excelled.

His career began to flourish at Leeds in 1998 where he was a part of a strong period of success for Leeds United. They finished fourth in the Premier League in the 1999/00 season, gaining UEFA Cup football. The next season they finished third and gained qualification to the Champions League where they eventually reached the semi-finals. Radebe was the captain of the team during this period, and even turned down offers from a host of high profile clubs such as Manchester United, Roma and AC Milan.

3. Yakubu Aiyegbeni

The Nigerian powerhouse striker played for a host of Premier League clubs including Portsmouth, Middlesbrough and Everton. He spent eight seasons in the top flight where his goalscoring record was very impressive.

He is known for his strength and powerful finishing and this was evident in his performances in the top flight. His best year was his first for Everton where he managed 21 goals in just 39 matches. He had a number of other excellent seasons including the 2005/06 campaign with Middlesbrough where he scored 19 goals in 56 games, and the 2003/04 campaign with Portsmouth where he also scored 19 goals in just 43 matches.

2. Nwankwo Kanu

Another Nigerian to make the top five, as Kanu the Arsenal, West Brom and Portsmouth striker is one of the most legendary African players to play in the league.

He was a member of the Nigerian national side for 16 years. He spent 14 seasons in England the majority of his time spent at Arsenal where he won two Premier League titles and two FA Cups. He also led Portsmouth to the FA Cup in 2008 scoring the solitary goals in both the semi-final 1-0 win over West Brom and the final 1-0 win over Cardiff.

1. Didier Drogba

Dider Drogba, the Chelsea hero, was an outstanding player in the Premier League.

He was the spearhead of Chelsea’s charge to their first league crown in 50 years back in 2004/05 and again in 2005/06. He is strong, powerful and had a deadly eye for goal, available to play just as well as a lone-striker, as he was as part of a front two.

His impressive haul at Chelsea include three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and of course one Champions League where he stroked home the winning spot-kick in the penalty shoot-out against Bayern Munich.

He is Ivory Coast's all-time leading goalscorer and a major celebrity on his home continent.


DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeFootball Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.


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