Home News The Greatest Premier League African Footballer Revealed!

The Greatest Premier League African Footballer Revealed!

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MUNICH, GERMANY - MAY 19: Didier Drogba of Chelsea salutes the fans after the UEFA Champions League Final between FC Bayern Munich and Chelsea at the Fussball Arena Munich on May 19, 2012 in Munich, Germany. The match ended 1-1 after extra time, Chelsea won 4-3 on penalties. (Photo by Bob Thomas Sports Photography via Getty Images)

“The thing with Drogba is, he’s not one of the best African players to ever play in the Premier League, he’s one of the best players to play in the Premier League, period.”

Didier Drogba has been named the best African player to have played in the Premier League by a panel of experts on the BBC World Service.

MUNICH, GERMANY – MAY 19: Didier Drogba of Chelsea scores the winning penalty against goalkeeper Manuel Neuer during UEFA Champions League Final between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea at the Fussball Arena München on May 19, 2012 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Over the last decade or so, the English Premier League has been graced by some of the best African footballers in the history of the sport.

These players range from established greats like George Weah and Samuel Eto’o whose flings with the Premier League were brief, to players who made their name in England such as Emmanuel Adebayor, Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, Sadio Mane, Micheal Essien, John Mikel obi, Nwankwo Kanu, Mohammed Salah and countless players who have risen to the podium of English top flight, leaving a lasting legacy with their exploits on the field.

When being talk about one of the greatest African player in Premiership history, there’s one man who has made his name an household name and in the heart of men. His name is Didier Drogba

Achievements, quality, entertainment value, impact, and statistics were taken into account when deciding the winner.

Drogba arrived in the Premier League in 2004, signing for Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea from Marseille for $30m. He went on to score 157 goals in 341 games during his initial, eight-year, spell with the West London club, and is one of only 28 players to have scored more than 100 goals in the Premier League and the only African to do so.

As the Independent’s senior football correspondent Melissa Reddy said on Sportsworld’s follow-up show to decide the winner:

        “The thing with Drogba is, he’s not one of the best African players to ever play in the Premier League, he’s one of the best players to play in the Premier League, period.”

Drogba won three Premier League titles during his first stint at Chelsea before returning to win another in the 2014/15 season, with Mourinho also in his second spell at the club.

The striker was unplayable for much of his time in England, and was the type of forward defenders feared due to his combination of skill, intelligence, and physicality.

Add four FA Cups, three League Cups, and a crucial to winning the Champions League with Chelsea in 2012. it’s easy to see why he’s held in such high regard throughout world football.

MUNICH, GERMANY – MAY 19: Didier Drogba of Chelsea celebrates with the European Cup after his team wins the UEFA Champions League Final between FC Bayern Munich and Chelsea at the Fussball Arena München on May 19, 2012 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Drogba is the kind of guy that is so loyal, that he never forgot that I took him from Marseille to the Premier League,” Mourinho told beIN Sports in 2019.

“He was not even expected because he didn’t start very young at that level. He had already played for Marseille, Guingamp, and Le Mans.

“So when I took him to Chelsea I remember clearly [Chelsea owner Roman] Abramovic was asking me ‘Who? Who do you want for the striker?’

“Big names in Europe at the time, but I said ‘Drogba, Mr Abramovic, pay and don’t speak.’

“Didier was an iconic player for Chelsea and for the Premier League.”
Though few arguments can be made against Drogba, Yaya Touré can count himself unlucky to miss out, and were this discussion repeated in several years time the likes of Salah, Mané, and Mahrez would have more going for them.

 

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