A closer look at African Players in the Premier League

In another edition of Liverpool Boleh’s Football Manager, we are shifting our attention to Africa. The continent boasts some of the world’s best players to have graced the Premier League, and we are now fortunate to have both the king and prince of African football to wear the famous Red kit.


We take a look at the rest of their continent's counterparts in the league this season, deciding the best three that should join Liverpool’s current contingent of African players (Naby Keita and Joel Matip, alongside Mo Salah and Sadio Mane of course).


1. Riyad Mahrez


Image: Sportsmole

The Algerian is enjoying a storming season, putting a rather underwhelming (on a personal level, that is) first campaign at Manchester City behind him.


Mahrez is enjoying more minutes this campaign, and like his teammate Raheem Sterling, is transforming into a more prolific player under Pep Guardiola. He has already nine goals midway into the campaign, and looks set to eclipse his 12 goals in his debut season for the Citizens.


Mahrez can definitely be an option for Salah on the right side, with his mazy dribbles and ball control providing an almost different but equally devastating ammunition for Klopp.


2. Mario Lemina


Image: Liverpool Echo

Currently on loan at Galatasaray, the Southampton man is a proper player. The Gabonese international is a hardworking and dynamic box to box midfielder, possessing good technique and solid distribution. He was one of the bright sparks of the Saints’ 17/18 season, showing the kind of form that saw him win the Serie A twice with Juventus.


Only 26, the Gabonese still has some good years ahead of him and if he can get his temperament in check and sort out some of the recklessness in him, we can see him fitting seamlessly into a Liverpool’s system – perhaps fulfilling the enormous talent that he has.


3. Ismaila Sarr



Sarr is slowly but surely finding his feet in the Premier League since his debut in August 2019, being a central figure of Watford’s mini revival. A highly skillful and pacey winger, the 21 year old Senegalese is one of those blessed with the flair and dynamism that makes him a joy to watch.


It is obvious that fellow countrymen Mane and Sarr share a special relationship, and we would think that a teacher and student relationship at Anfield could bring out the best of both the Senegalese speedsters.


Honourable mentions: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Moussa Djenpo, Kelechi Iheanacho


Would you pick anyone else?


Full list of African Players:


Nigeria

Wilfred Ndidi - Leicester City

Alex Iwobi - Everton

Kelechi Iheanacho - Leicester City

Isaac Success - Watford 

Leon Balogun - Brighton & Hove Albion

Tom Dele-Bashiru - Watford


Cote D'Ivoire

Nicolas Pepe - Arsenal

Jean-Philippe Gbamin - Everton

Wilfried Zaha - Crystal Palace

Eric Bailly - Manchester United

Serge Aurier - Tottenham Hotspur

Jonathan Kodjia - Aston Villa


Senegal

Sadio Mané - Liverpool 

Ismaïla Sarr - Watford

Cheikhou Kouyaté - Crystal Palace

Oumar Niasse - Everton

Henri Saivet - Newcastle


Ghana

Jeffrey Schlupp - Crystal Palace

Jordan Ayew - Crystal Palace

Daniel Amartey - Leicester City

Christian Atsu - Newcastle

Phil Ofosu-Ayeh - Wolves


Egypt

Mohamed Salah- Liverpool 

Mohamed Elneny - Arsenal 

Trezeguet - Aston Villa

Ahmed Elmohamady - Aston Villa


Democratic Republic of Congo

Yannick Bolasie - Everton

Arthur Masuaku - West Ham United

Beni Baningime - Everton

Aaron Tshibola - Aston Villa


Mali

Yves Bissouma - Brighton & Hove Albion

Moussa Djenepo - Southampton

Fousseni Diabaté - Leicester City

Bakary Sako - Crystal Palace


Morocco

Sofiane Boufal - Southampton

Romain Saïss - Wolves

Achraf Lazaar - Newcastle


Algeria

Riyad Mahrez - Manchester City

Rachid Ghezzal - Leicester City

Islam Slimani - Leicester City


Cameroon

Joel Matip - Liverpool

Gaëtan Bong - Brighton & Hove Albion


Gabon

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - Arsenal

Mario Lemina - Southampton


Kenya

Victor Wanyama - Tottenham Hotspur


Guinea

Naby Keïta - Liverpool 


Zimbabwe

Marvelous Nakamba - Aston Villa