The Premiership’s 15 best African players of all time – Drogba, Radebe, Mido (!?) and more

Ashley features, Football, Football features 4 Comments

So here we go again. The African Cup Of Nations kicks off this week to the delight of football fans everywhere and the chagrin of a small group of managers who lose key players for a few weeks.

Later this week we’ll asses which clubs are going to suffer the most during the month, but for now it is time to look back and salute some of the great Africans who played in the Premiership.

I have chosen 15 players who in one way or another all made their presence felt in the English league. Some, like Mido, only really shone for one season, others, like Lucas Radebe and Lauren had a huge impact over an extended period of time.

Anyhow here then are the 15. Tell us in the comments who we missed. And roll on South Africa v Cape Verde Islands.

Pics from Wikipedia

Emmanuel Adebayor

Picture 4 of 15

Signed by Arsene Wenger in January 2006 (along with Abou Diaby), Adebayor was to be the Gunners' new Kanu (with Diaby the new Vieira.) It didn't quite work out that way and Adebayor has gone on to become one of the most controversial players of the Premiership era. It is easy to forget just how important he was to Arsenal in his early seasons at the club. In 2007/2008 he was a pivotal figure in what was the last Arsenal team to maintain a serious challenge for the Premiership title - they were ahead until the Eduardo injury at Birmingham. Adebayor's goal against Spurs also won Match of the Day's Goal of the Season competition. He also won African Footballer Of The Year in 2008. The following season was a comparatively poor one and many Gunners fans felt the player wasn't trying as hard and was distracted by big money moves elsewhere. So it was no surprise when he signed for Man City in July 2009. He further enraged Gunners fans when in the game between the two sides after scoring he ran the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of them. To make matter worse in 2011, after a loan stint at Real Madrid, he signed for Spurs. Adebayor started in typical incendiary fashion for his new club scoring 17 goals. This season has been a lot quieter for the player. In many ways Adebayor is another player who hasn't quite achieved his full potential. He frustrates fans who see glimpses of his incredible talent one week and then watch him disappear from games another. I wonder too if the fatal shooting incident on the Togo bus in 2010, in which he cradled his good friend the press officer in his arms as he died, has affected his mental state so much that he will always never ever attain his true level.