Premier League Hall of Fame
Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry were named as the first two inductees into the Premier League's Hall of Fame on Monday.
Former Blackburn and Newcastle striker Shearer and ex-Arsenal talisman Henry have been honoured as part of the inaugural class of 2021, becoming the only two automatic selections in the group which will also include a further six players following a public vote.
Could any African stars hope to take their place in the Hall of Fame moving forward?
Here are five players from the continent who, before too long, could be in line for inclusion on the PL’s hallowed platform.
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Didier DrogbaOne of the greatest strikers of the Premier League era, Drogba was the spearhead of a magnificent Chelsea team and struck over a century of Premier League goals.
The Ivorian, on 104, is the only African player to hit over a century of goals, and won the Golden Boot in 2007 and 2010. Drogba was the first player from the continent to win the award, and the only striker to do so until Mohamed Salah in 2018.
The forward twice made the PFA Team of the Year, and won the league title on four occasions.
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At 28, Salah still may have his best years ahead of him, and could yet bolster his credentials as a genuine Hall of Fame-worthy legend.
His greatest achievement came in 2017-18, when he marked his first campaign with Liverpool by netting 32 goals—more than any other player has managed before or since in a 38-game season.
He followed that up with another Golden Boot, having scored 22 as the Reds were pipped by Manchester City, and last season, was one of Jurgen Klopp’s key performers as the Merseysiders ended their three-decade wait for a league title.
The North African was also influential as the Reds reached two Champions League finals, winning one.
Yaya ToureToure’s time at Manchester City ultimately ended in somewhat disappointing circumstances, but in his prime, the midfield powerhouse was one of the most devastating players to feature in the Premier League.
In the 2013-14 season, he netted 20 goals from the centre of midfield—one of only two central midfielders, alongside Frank Lampard, to achieve the feat—and won three titles with the Citizens.
Critically, Toure was a key performer as City ended their 44-year wait for a league title, having previously scored the decisive goals in the semi-final and final of their memorable 2011 FA Cup triumph.
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Sadio ManeSurely on his way to becoming a bona-fide Premier League legend, some may argue that Mane is there already.
The Senegal superstar proved influential last season as Liverpool marched their way towards the Premier League title, having won the Golden Boot—alongside Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang—in the previous campaign.
Mane also currently holds the record for the fastest ever Premier League hat-trick, having struck three times in two minutes at 56 seconds for Southampton against Aston Villa in May 2015.
Kolo ToureTo date, Toure is one of only eight players to have won the Premier League with two different clubs, having clinched the title with Arsenal and Manchester City.
With the Gunners, he was part of the magnificent Invincibles side in 2003-04, and starred alongside brother Yaya as City ended their 44-year wait for the gold.
No African player has featured in the top flight more than Toure, who amassed 353 appearances before ending his Premier League tenure with Liverpool in 2016.
The 40-year-old is currently assisting Brendan Rodgers at Leicester City.