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Ranking the five African players with the most Premier League assists

Riyad Mahrez is nearing a Premier League exit with the Manchester City winger in talks over a move to the Saudi Pro League.

Mahrez will depart the division as one of the Premier League’s great African imports, having won five league titles and a PFA Player of the Year award across decorated spells with Leicester and Manchester City.

The Algerian has been one of English football’s best creatives during his time in the Premier League and we’ve decided to look at how Mahrez compares to his continent’s finest.

Here are the five African players with the most Premier League assists.

Emmanuel Adebayor – 36

Emmanuel Adeboy recorded 36 assists during a colourful career in the Premier League, with the Togolese target-man representing four different clubs.

Adebayor signed for Arsenal from Monaco and impressed after replacing Thierry Henry as the club’s leading goal threat, scoring 30 goals during a brilliant 2007/08 campaign that saw the forward named African Footballer of the Year.

He moved on to sign for Manchester City in a £25m deal and controversially celebrated a goal against his former side in memorable fashion, with a long run to goad the travelling Arsenal support.

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After falling out of favour he had a productive spell at Tottenham and less successful stint at Crystal Palace, before departing English football with a record 97 goals and 36 assists in 241 appearances.

Sadio Mane – 38

Sadio Mane first emerged as one of the Premier League’s most exciting talents at Southampton, for who he scored the division’s fastest ever hat-trick inside 176 seconds against Aston Villa during two successful seasons at St Marys.

Mane became the most expensive African footballer ever at the time of his £34m move to Liverpool in 2016, where the Senegal international developed into one of world football’s finest wide-men.

In tandem with Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, the trio formed a fine understanding to fire Liverpool to silverware success under Jurgen Klopp.

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Mane scored 120 goals across six seasons at Liverpool, a period which saw him contribute to Champions League success and the Reds’ first league title in 30 years. He was named in the PFA Team of the Year on four occasions and claimed Premier League Golden Boot and PFA Fans’ Player of the Year awards during his time at Anfield.

Didier Drogba – 55

One of the Premier League’s great centre-forwards, Didier Drogba was often described as a one-man forward line during his best seasons at Chelsea.

Signed from Marseille in a £24m deal, the Ivorian became a figurehead of Chelsea’s most successful era as the west Londoners won trophy after trophy.

Drogba’s two spells at Chelsea saw the forward score 104 league goals and provided 55 assists, with his partnership with Frank Lampard the most productive in Premier League history for goal combinations until Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Son Heung-min surpassed their record.

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A powerhouse player and big-game expert, Drogba was formidable at his best and arguably the most influential footballer in Chelsea’s history.

Iconic Duos: Lampard and Drogba – Chelsea’s relentless history makers

Mohamed Salah – 59

Mohamed Salah ranks second for Premier League assists among African imports, having created 59 goals during his time in English football.

The Egyptian international has been a numbers machine since signing for Liverpool in 2017, bouncing back from a difficult spell at Chelsea to emerge as a modern Premier League great.

Salah has scored 137 goals in 218 league appearances for Liverpool, with his individual accolades including three Premier League Golden Boots and two PFA Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year doubles.

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The highest-scoring African in Premier League history, he is one of a select group of players to have topped the division for goals and assists in the same season, achieving the feat in 2021/22.

Riyad Mahrez – 61

Mahrez will depart the Premier League as the African with the most assists, having created 61 goals during his successful spell in the division.

Mahrez made his name at Leicester, where he was named as the PFA Players’ Player of the Year during the Foxes’ incredible Premier League title win in 2015/16.

The Algerian scored 17 goals and laid on 11 assists as Leicester were crowned champions, before a £60m move to Manchester City opened the door to more silverware.

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Mahrez’s five seasons at the Etihad have delivered four Premier League titles, five domestic cups and the Champions League, providing countless moments of immaculate close control and spectacular wing-play in the process. He will head to Saudi Arabia to join Al-Ahli in a deal worth £30m this summer, regarded as one of the best right-wingers the Premier League has seen.

Read – Ranking the six biggest non-Premier League transfers of the summer so far

Read Also – Five of the worst Premier League kits released this summer

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