With a near complete transfer of Egyptian player Mohamed Elneny from FC Basel to Arsenal, th...
With a near complete transfer of Egyptian player Mohamed Elneny from FC Basel to Arsenal, the defensive midfielder would join a strong list of African players who have played for the North London club. The Egyptian at 23 has represented the Pharaohs almost 40 times on the international stage and with a £7m move almost completed.
To this, Wolexis has compiled a list of the Top 5 African Players to Play for Arsenal using stats and impact they had on the club as part of the basis for the measure.
5. Alexander Song.
The nephew of former footballer Rigobert Song, Alex Song joined Arsenal from Bastia after being heavily linked with a move to Juventus, Inter Milan, Man Utd, for £1,000,000.
The Cameroon international was already at the club on a season long loan for the 2005-2006 season before penning a four-year contract in June 2006. Breaking well into the limelight in 2008, Song formed a partnership with Cesc Fabregas at the back and became the engine room of the midfield.
|Alexandre Dimitri Song Billong|
His contributions to the team increased significantly when he became an offensive threat linking up severally with Robin van Persie in what was his final season at Arsenal with 12 assists. In his 215 appearances for Arsenal, he was able to score 10 goals, with runner-up medals in the UCL of 2006, and League Cup of 2007, 2011.
Arsenal fans would be quick to read this in haste but there is no denying the impact the Togolese striker had on the club. The towering striker joined Arsenal for a reported £3m in the winter window of 2006 with Baby Kanu given to him as a nickname.
The lanky forward was quick to make his mark scoring on his debut after just 21 minutes. The striker won the BBC African Footballer of the Year award in 2008, something his idol Kanu too had done similarly.
Sheyi Emmanuel Adebayor
The striker was quite the prolific one, scoring 62 goals in as many as 142 appearances for the club bagging a place in the PFA Team of the Year, unfortunately won no honors with the club. Adebayor would always be remembered for his celebration against Arsenal for Man City where he ran the full pitch to celebrate in front of the Gunners. It is a pity that a man, who once lit up the Emirates, is now a ready-made effigy for their bonfire.
3. Kolo Toure.
The oldest of the Toure brothers, Kolo joined Arsenal from ASEC Mimosas for a fee of about £150,000 in 2002 but would wait for his debut in the following season. The Ivorien started his career at Highbury then as a defensive midfielder and used sometimes as a right back. He established a formidable partnership with Sol Campbell guiding the club to a league title doing so without losing a match in their invincible season.
|Kolo Habib Toure|
He became a fan favorite soon enough and established himself as one of the best defenders in the League at the time, and his European impact was felt too, keeping a record 10 consecutive clean sheets in the UCL. Toure demanded a move from the club after a reported altercation with William Gallas joining Man City for a fee believed to be around £14millon.
Kolo Toure had a successful time with Arsenal winning the Premier league title, 2 F.A Cups, 2 Community Shields, and losers’ medal in 2006 UCL.
Part of the legendary invincible team, Lauren transferred to Arsenal from Mallorca for a fee of £7.2million. The Cameroonian defender started off as right midfielder at the club but slowly transitioned into the club’s right back also showing versatility by sometimes being played out on the left.
|Laureano Bisan Etamé-Mayer|
Injuries hampered his debut season but gradually became a leading figure in the Arsenal defence during their Double in 2001/2002 season. Lauren was part of the invincible team and made his 150th appearance for the team during the run.
Arsenal’s Mr. Reliable had strength, and also an in-depth knowledge of the game with Wenger suggesting Lauren could easily be his best signing as the Cameroonian could easily be overlooked. Lauren went on to win 2 PL titles, 3 F.A Cups, and 2 Community shields scoring 11 goals in his 242 appearances for the Gunners.
1. Nwankwo Kanu.
Papilo came to Arsenal with an impressive cabinet winning the Olympic Gold medal, the Eredivisie 3 times, the Champions League, the UEFA Cup, Super Cup, and the Intercontinental Cup in his stints with Ajax and Inter Milan.
The Nigerian legend transferred to Arsenal for about £4.15m from Inter Milan amidst fears his career was soon to be over after a medical examination revealed a heart defect which he had to undergo surgery to replace an aortic valve. Kanu’s laid back approach and languid behavior on the pitch did not endear him quickly enough to the Gunners but that soon changed after his technical abilities came to the fore.
He had great control of the ball, could play behind the leading striker, and scored some incredible goals. His 17 minute hat-trick at Stamford Bridge would fondly be remembered after helping Arsenal overturn a 2-0 deficit. In 2008, club supporters voted him 13th in the Gunners’ Greatest 50 Players poll.
Such was his impact in the team even though he got limited time with Thierry Henry coming to the spotlight. The Nigerian international scored 44 goals in 194 appearances(94 as a sub) winning 2 Premier League titles, 2 F.A Cups and 1 Community Shield.
Written by @ChukaMVP