Nicolas Pepe & Africa’s most expensive transfers of all time

Nicolas Pepe Lille 2018-19
  • Eric Bailly Man UtdGetty

    10Eric Bailly

    Bailly became Africa's most expensive defender when he signed for Manchester United from Villarreal for £30 million.

    It was a significant gamble by arriving Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho, but Bailly quickly adapted to life in the Premier League and looked set to establish himself as the club’s first-choice defender for a decade to come.

    Unfortunately, injuries, managerial upheaval and a loss of form have limited his impact at Old Trafford in recent campaigns, and the future looks uncertain.

  • Team of the Week Sadio ManeGetty

    9Sadio Mane

    Mohamed Salah’s move to Liverpool knocked his new Reds teammate off top spot as Africa’s (then) most expensive player of all time.

    Mane moved to Anfield from Southampton for £35 million, and while his maiden campaign on Merseyside wasn’t trouble-free, he made an excellent impression, and initially at least, threatened to be the catalyst for an unexpected title tilt by the Reds.

    In subsequent campaigns, he's grown into a genuine world-class player, and was influential as the Merseysiders clinched the Champions League last term.

  • Mohamed Salah Liverpool 2018-19

    8Mohamed Salah

    Liverpool snared the AS Roma forward for £36.9 million with some reports suggesting that the price could rise to £43.9 million considering add-ons.

    Either way, the deal represents an absolute bargain for the Reds.

    Salah thrived under the pressure, smashing records aplenty during his maiden season in Anfield, and becoming the darling of the home fans in the process.

    Last term, some suggested his form may have dropped domestically, but Salah still inspired Liverpool to a title challenge, and netted the winner as they won the Champions League in Madrid.

  • Sebastien Haller West Ham 2019-20

    7Sebastien Haller

    The first of several uncapped dual-nationality players on our list, West Ham United parted with £45 million to sign Haller from Eintracht Frankfurt this summer.

    The striker will need to adapt to life in the Premier League, but after scoring 15 goals and contributing nine assists last term, he's already proved that he knows how to find the net.

    Capped by France at U-21 level, the 25-year-old remains eligible for the Cote d'Ivoire.

  • Aaron Wan-Bissaka Manchester United

    6Aaron Wan-Bissaka

    The Anglo-Congolese wonderkid is another new mover, having joined Manchester United from Crystal Palace for £49.5 million this summer.

    He's already excelled in the Premier League, impressing with his sturdy defensive displays in recent seasons, and should represent an upgrade on the Red Devils' current options at right-back.

  • Naby Keita Liverpool

    5Naby Keita

    Nabbed by Liverpool from RasenBallsport Leipzig, Keita is yet to truly realise his potential following a £52.75 million move.

    He was one of the key protagonists in Leipzig's climb up the German football ladder, but took his time adapting to life in the Premier League, before injury struck towards the end of his first season at the club.

  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal 2019-20Getty Images

    4Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

    Arsenal parted with £56 million to bring Borussia Dortmund's Aubameyang to North London, despite the Gabon international having been linked with a move to Real Madrid.

    The Central African hitman wasted little time demonstrating his quality under Arsene Wenger, and then Unai Emery, even though he hasn't always been an undisputed starter under the latter.

    Predictably, the goals have flown, with Auba sharing the Premier League's Golden Boot with Mane and Salah last term.

  • Riyad Mahrez Manchester City 2018-19

    3Riyad Mahrez

    Manchester City parted with a club-record £60 million to sign Mahrez, finally ending the Algeria international's extended wait to exit Leicester City.

    He may have been a Premier League winner with the Foxes in 2016, during that most remarkable of campaigns, but Mahrez hasn't always found the going easy at the Etihad Stadium, where he's struggled for playing time under Pep Guardiola.

    After making a series of decisive contributions last term, as the Sky Blues won a swathe of domestic silverware, the recently crowned African champion will be hoping to further establish himself in 2019-20.

  • Cedric Bakambu DR Congo

    2Cedric Bakambu

    Beijing Guoan parted with an eye-watering £65 million to take Bakambu to China after the striker had netted 15 goals for Villarreal during the 2017-18 season.

    He hit the ground running in the Far East, with eight goals in his first eight games, and also caught the eye with a series of fine showings during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

    The Democratic Republic of Congo hitman previously represented Sochaux and Bursaspor.

  • Nicolas Pepe, Lille, 2018-19

    1Nicolas Pepe

    Pepe became Africa's most expensive player on Thursday when Arsenal parted with £72 million to bring the striker to the Emirates Stadium from LOSC Lille.

    He penned a five-year contract with the Gunners after scoring 22 goals and contributing 11 assists in Ligue 1 last term, prompting Emery to turn to him ahead of Wilfried Zaha.

    Arsenal fans will be desperate for Pepe to emulate Eden Hazard, LOSC's finest import to the Premier League, rather than his compatriot Gervinho.