Top 10: Ranking the Premier League’s greatest African winners

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Mahrez, Mikel, EssienGetty Images
  • John Obi Mikel ChelseaGetty Images

    10John Obi Mikel

    A two-time Premier League winner during his glorious decade at Chelsea, Obi Mikel also clinched the FA Cup, the Champions League and the Europa League during his time in West London.

    He finally left Chelsea—initially for China—in 2017.

  • Nwankwo Kanu | Arsenal

    9Nwankwo Kanu

    Another Nigerian Premier League winner, Kanu—like Mikel—won the English title twice during his long stint in English football.

    After previously winning the Champions League and Uefa Cup with Ajax and Internazionale, Kanu enjoyed immense success with Arsenal—he was a member of the Invincibles squad—and went on to win the FA Cup with Portsmouth.

  • Lauren ArsenalGetty Images

    8Lauren

    A teammate of Kanu’s at Arsenal, Lauren was arguably the most underrated member of the Invincibles side after excelling at right-back for the Gunners.

    He was a two-time Prem champ during his seven years in North London, clinching the title in 2002 and 2004.

    The full-back also won a trio of FA Cups with Arsenal, before adding a fourth with Portsmouth in 2008.

  • Kolo Toure | ArsenalGetty Images

    7Kolo Toure

    One of two African players to have won the Premier League title with two separate clubs, Toure won the big one with Arsenal and then later with Manchester City.

    The centre-back never truly got the credit he deserved for his contribution to two magnificent sides, and was part of a Liverpool side that also went close to winning the Prem in 2014.

  • Michael Essien of AC MilanPIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images

    6Michael Essien

    Another African superstar who enjoyed his finest hours with Chelsea, the Bison departed Olympique Lyonnais midway through their own period of dominance in Ligue 1 to step into Jose Mourinho’s machine at Stamford Bridge.

    Essien was a Prem winner in 2006 and 2010, fully repaying the £24.4 million the Pensioners parted with to secure his services.

  • Sadio Mane, Liverpool 2021-22Getty

    5Sadio Mane

    A Premier League champion in 2020, Mane has arguably been unlucky not to have clinched more domestic silverware with this outstanding Liverpool side.

    Mane scored 18 goals in 35 matches en route to the Reds’ first title in three decades, and has also won the Champions League and FA Cup on Merseyside.

    Could he yet win another UCL this week?

  • Mohamed SalahGetty

    4Mohamed Salah

    Another current Liverpool star to have conquered the English game, Salah was a champion alongside Mane in 2020, as the Reds ended their 30-year wait for the PL.

    The forward won his third Golden Boot this season, having broken Didier Drogba’s record for goals scored by an African player in the top flight.

  • Yaya Toure - FA Cup 2010-11Getty

    3Yaya Toure

    One of the founding fathers of the current, modern superclub ManchesterCity, Toure joined the Citizens during the early stages of their project and was influential as they won the FA Cup in 2011 and then the Prem title a year later.

    The midfield powerhouse may have fallen out of favour—at times at least—under Pep Guardiola, but nonetheless ended his magnificent stay at Eastlands with three Prem titles.

  • Riyad Mahrez Man City 2022Getty

    2Riyad Mahrez

    The second African player—after Kolo—to win Premier League titles with two separate clubs, Mahrez’s title triumph on Sunday represented the third time he’s been an English champion with ManchesterCity.

    However, despite his successes under Guardiola, the Algeria superstar’s finest campaign remains Leicester City’s miraculous 2015-16 campaign, as the North African won the PFA Players’ and Fans’ Player of the Season awards.

  • Didier Drogba 2012 FA Cup finalGetty

    1Didier Drogba

    Tied with Mahrez on four Prem titles, Drogba built his legacy across nine years and two stints with Chelsea.

    Unplayable on his day, he was a key figure in the club’s rise under Jose Mourinho, and was also the Blues’ main protagonist as they won the Champions League—London’s first club to do so—in 2012.