In the early 2000’s, Nwankwo Kanu and Didier Drogba where the early pioneer of African footballer’s plying their trade in England, they both made a difference in their various clubs, with Arsenal and Chelsea respectively.
With both strikers winning the prestigious English premier league with their respective clubs, and Didier Drogba doing more by winning the UEFA Champions League title in 2012 and a personal award of EPL golden boot in 2006/2007 season in which he scored 20 goals.
In 2010, Yaya Toure was signed from Barcelona to Manchester city for £24 million under Roberto Macini, this was the beginning and the domination of Manchester city in the English premiership. Yaya Toure became the power house in the midfield alongside David Silva. The Citizens won the FA cup in 2010/2011 – It was followed up the next season with Manchester city winning their first ever EPL title in 2011/2012 season.
The Ivorian intetnational help Manchester city win three EPL titles, two League cups and a FA Cup, he made 250 appearances scoring 59 goals from 2010 to 2018.
In 2016 “Riyad Mahrez” became the first African to win the coveted Professional Football Award (PFA). The Algerian international played a key role for Leicester city football club winning the league title, he racked up 17 goals and 11 assist this made him the most sort after winger in the English premier ship, he later got signed by Manchester city.
Another African player who was able to achieve this fit of winning the PFA award was Mohammad Salah – The Egyptian attacker had a stellar performance at Liverpool football club on his first season scoring 32 goals in the league and was also in the PFA team of the season. This upgraded African football in general and also surpassing the past African legends who had ply their trade in England he was signed by Liverpool from AS Roma for £36.9 million.
Last season was the first time three players would win the coveted golden boot award in a season and where won by African players. The duo of Mohammed Salah and Saido Mane (Egypt, Senegal). Both attackers playing for Liverpool football club and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang the Gabonese international playing for Arsenal football club scored 22 goals each last season.
The Duo of Saido Mane and Mohammed Salah contributed to their club Liverpool winning the UEFA Champions League last season and are on course to win the English Premiership title which Liverpool hadn’t won for the past 35 years.
African football is now getting the much needed recognition in the world stage, mostly in Europe where African footballers are becoming the key displays in their club and also been the fulcrum of their team.