In 2016 Riyad Mahrez became the first African player in Premier League history to win the PFA Player of the Year award, whilst Mohamed Salah’s success in 2018 made it twice in three years a player from the continent had been crowned as the division’s finest player.
The duo’s success is the latest in a long line of African players to shine in English football, but which players have scored the most Premier League goals? We take a look at the five highest scoring African players in Premier League history…
5. Yaya Toure – 62 goals
One of the finest midfielders in Premier League history, Ivory Coast international Yaya Toure was one of the most influential players in Manchester City’s rise to the elite.
Signed from Barcelona in a £24m deal in 2010, Toure ended his debut season in Manchester by scoring the winning goal in both the semi-final and final as City ended a 35-year wait for a major trophy with FA Cup success.
Blessed with pace, power and sublime technique, Toure was a regular goalscorer from midfield throughout his Premier League career.
He spent eight years at the Etihad, winning three league titles and being crowned African Footballer of the Year on four occasions.
His finest season was perhaps the 2013/14 season, where he scored 20 Premier League goals to drive Manuel Pellegrini’s City to the title.
4. Sadio Mane – 80 goals
Southampton and Liverpool
The only player on this list currently playing in the Premier League, Liverpool star Mane has the potential to climb over the coming seasons.
The Senegal international arrived in the Premier League at Southampton in 2014, and quickly established himself as one of the division’s most exciting players.
He hit a hat-trick against Aston Villa in 2015, scored in just 2 minutes and 56 seconds, smashing Robbie Fowler’s 21-year record for the Premier League’s fastest ever treble.
He moved to Liverpool in a £34m deal in 2016, where he was named in the PFA Team of the Year in his debut season, and has since formed part of one Europe’s most potent forward lines alongside Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.
3. Yakubu – 95 goals
Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Everton, and Blackburn
‘Feed the Yak and he will score’ – a familiar chant from the terraces during Nigerian striker Yakubu’s lengthy career in Premier League football.
The forward was a reliable goalscorer during spells at several clubs, scoring 95 goals in 252 appearances in English football’s top division.
He averaged better than a goal every other game for Blackburn, whilst he also enjoyed a prolific spell at Portsmouth.
He retired in 2017 after a brief spell at Coventry City, having enjoyed a career spanning 20 years with spells at 14 different clubs.
2. Emmanuel Adebayor – 97 goals
Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham, and Crystal Palace
A talented yet controversial figure, Adebayor enjoyed a prolific career in English football after joining Arsenal for just £3m in 2006.
The highest goalscorer in the history of the Togolese national team, Adebayor scored 46 goals in just 104 league appearances for Arsenal, before leaving for big-spending Manchester City in a £25m deal in 2009.
A solid debut season in Manchester wasn’t replicated the following year, and the forward joined Tottenham in 2011 following a brief loan spell at Real Madrid.
He recaptured his goalscoring form in North London, scoring 17 league goals in his debut season, and enjoyed four fairly productive years at White Hart Lane.
Following his release from Spurs he joined his third London club at Crystal Palace, but scored just one league goal in a disappointing spell before leaving for Turkey.
His best season in English football was undoubtedly 2007/08, where he scored 24 league goals including a Goal of the Season winner in the North London derby, before being crowned African Footballer of the Year in 2008.
1. Didier Drogba – 104 goals
Arguably the greatest African player in Premier League history, Didier Drogba was a talismanic figure during two spells at Chelsea.
The Ivorian won four Premier League titles amongst 12 major honours during a glittering spell in West London, developing a reputation as a big game player with a series of important goals.
Drogba scored the winning spot-kick as Chelsea became the first London team to be crowned European champions in 2012, after previously taking the game to extra-time with a late equaliser in the final against Bayern Munich.
The forward twice won the Premier League Golden Boot in 2006/07 and 2009/10, and finished his career at Stamford Bridge with 104 league goals.
He was voted as the club’s greatest ever player in a poll of the club’s fans in 2012.