Top Six: African All-Stars in the Premier League 2018-19

Comments()
Who have been the most impressive African performers in the top flight this season?

  1. Getty Images

    Wilfried Zaha

    At 26, Zaha is entering his prime, and expect plenty more rumours linking him with some of Europe’s biggest clubs this summer following another fine campaign with Crystal Palace.

    The Eagles have never truly been in contention for relegation this season, despite a slow start under Roy Hodgson, although Zaha’s improvement in form from the end of January has been key to ensuring a midtable finish.

    The forward didn’t contribute a single goal or assist from the beginning of October to late January, but then went on a run of five goals and two assists in eight games to again demonstrate his ability to eviscerate EPL defences.

  2. Getty Images

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

    Despite Arsenal’s toil, and his own problems—seemingly—to convince Unai Emery that he deserves a consistent starting berth, Aubameyang has nonetheless enjoyed another prolific campaign in the Premier League.

    With one more matchday to go, the Gabon international is two behind Mohamed Salah in the scoring starts despite having started seven fewer matches than his Egyptian counterpart.

    The 29-year-old has developed an encouraging rapport with Alexandre Lacazette, although it’s been a transitional campaign for the Gunners, who will have to qualify for the Champions League through the Europa League if they’re to return to Europe’s top table next season.

  3. Getty

    Aaron Wan-Bissaka

    Zaha’s Palace teammate Wan-Bissaka also gets a nod among our top African performers in the league this season, even though the Congolese wonderkid currently represents England at U-21 level.

    The right-back had already showcased his qualities last term, but took his game to another level this season, with a campaign of consistency at full-back for the Eagles.

    Offensively, he isn’t at the level of Trent Alexander-Arnold, perhaps, but he’s among the league’s best defensive talents; the third most effective tackler in the division, and the joint-seventh most consistent interceptor.

    The next few years are very exciting for the 21-year-old.

  4. Getty

    Wilfred Ndidi

    Ndidi continues to be critically underrated despite another fine campaign in the Premier League, he’s second only to Idrissa Gueye–who was unfortunate to miss out here—in terms of tackles per game, and has been a consistently commanding presence in the heart of the Leicester City midfield.

    If he remains at the club—and there are rumours that he’ll move higher up the food chain—then he could be the key building block upon which Brendan Rodgers constructs his exciting new Leicester City side.

  5. Oli Scarff

    Sadio Mane

    Just pipped to top spot is Mane, who’s finally enjoyed a season uninterrupted by injury or suspension.

    He’s managed more appearances already this term than in any other Liverpool season, and has netted 20 goals—almost as many as in the last two seasons combined.

    The forward has dovetailed superbly with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, notably stepping up when the Egyptian forward had a slump in form.

    The Senegal international has netted against Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United in the league this term, reaffirming his status as a truly big-game player.

     

  6. Getty

    Mohamed Salah

    Despite an eight-game goalless run, Salah remains Africa’s outstanding talent in the Premier League, following another fine campaign for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

    He hasn’t quite hit the heights of last term, when he scored 32 and contributed a further 10 assists, but 30 goal contributions this season—including 22 scored himself—is still an excellent return.

    When Salah has turned it on this year, defences have been unable to cope with him; witness his hat-trick away at Bournemouth, or the showing at Wolverhampton Wanderers in December, when he almost single-handedly dispatched Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.

    The attacker has been influential in the Reds’ run to the brink of the Premier League title, and even if they do fall short, Salah is ensuring his legend at Anfield.