Which African players have spent a better 2021-22 Premier League campaign?
African stars have taken the Premier League by storm in recent seasons.
We have seen some of the best-ever African players play in the English top-flight before. But the likes of Mohamed Salah, Riyad Mahrez and Sadio Mane have taken Africa’s presence in the Premier League to another level.
Limiting our list to only five players, we had to exclude the likes of Wilfred Ndidi, Edouard Mendy, Hakim Ziyech, and Naby Keita, who also have been brilliant this season.
Let’s take a look at the best African players currently active in the Premier League.
5- Thomas Partey
Arsenal fans had to wait for quite some time to see Partey regain his best form after his transfer from Atletico Madrid. But they can now say it is totally worth it.
Mikel Arteta has found a way to integrate the Ghana star into his tactics, activating his incredible passing skills. The Gunners have registered the most successful progressive passes this season (via FBref), which is one of the main things that Partey has improved at Arsenal’s midfield.
If Arsenal manage to secure Champions League qualification by the end of the season, Partey might even deserve to go higher on our list.
4- Wilfried Zaha
Speaking after his induction into the Premier League Hall of Fame, Patrick Vieira chose Zaha as a player who could achieve the same recognition in the coming years.
Given that Vieira is Zaha’s manager at Crystal Palace, his statement might seem like a stretch. However, looking closely at the Ivorian’s performances this season, it is impossible to ignore his brilliance.
Zaha has scored 12 of Palace’s 45 league goals this season. The 29-year-old’s improved form under Vieira has also resulted in one of the league’s best dribbling stats.
3- Riyad Mahrez
Manchester City’s unbelievable quality in their attacking line has forced Pep Guardiola to rotate almost every player upfront.
However, if you look at the Spaniard’s starting XI for his side’s most crucial games of the season, you can still get a sense of who are his favourite attackers.
Riyad Mahrez is undoubtedly among this group of players. The Algerian winger has been a regular starter for City in the Champions League, scoring six goals and providing two assists in his 11 European appearances.
Back in the Premier League, Mahrez has registered 11 goals and five assists in his 25 outings. As City march toward their next league title, Guardiola will most likely use the experienced star more in his side’s last games of the campaign.
2- Sadio Mane
Mane has spent an incredible season, both at the club and the international level. The 30-year-old led Senegal to their first Africa Cup of Nations triumph in February before securing World Cup qualification with the Lions of Teranga.
At Liverpool, he has continued his integral role in Liverpool’s attacking line. Even the brilliant performances of Luis Diaz have not convinced Jurgen Klopp to start him ahead of the Senegalese star.
The former Southampton star has scored 21 goals in his 46 appearances for the Reds this season. Mane is already among the top candidates to win this year’s Ballon d’Or as he continues to push for a quadruple with Liverpool.
1- Mohamed Salah
Salah is the best African star in the Premier League. The Egyptian striker has spent yet another brilliant campaign at Liverpool, establishing himself as the number one candidate to win the league’s Player of the Season award.
So far, the 29-year-old has registered the most goals (22) and assists (13) in the English top-flight this season. In the Champions League, he has scored eight goals and provided two assists in his 12 appearances for the Reds.
Jurgen Klopp’s recent contract renewal has led to many reports about Salah’s potential stay at Anfield. Let’s see if the Reds can tie their star striker to a new contract ahead of the next summer.