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Top 5 African imports in Premier League history

  • Ajax star Hakim Ziyech will become the Premier League's latest African export this summer, but who are the continent's five greatest ever?
Mehul Gupta
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 13 Feb 2020, 19:29 IST

#4. Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez has 14 goal contributions in the Premier League this season
Riyad Mahrez has 14 goal contributions in the Premier League this season

The tall, lanky winger could have never imagined that he would become the face of Algerian football when he joined Leicester City in a mere £400,000 deal from French minnows Le Havre. Five years later, Riyad Mahrez has two Premier League titles to his name, one Africa Cup of Nations trophy, one PFA Player of the Year award, one African Player of the Year award and closing in on 100 goal contributions in the English top-flight. 

The right-sided winger turned heads in England when he spearheaded the Foxes to their first-ever Premier League title. His on-field partnership with Jamie Vardy was one of the highlights of their season as they eclipsed the top-six to do an almost unthinkable feat.

Manchester City then snapped him up in the summer of 2018 for a then-club record transfer of £60m. It was obviously difficult for the Algerian to cope up with Pep Guardiola’s methods in his first season at the club, and the fact Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling were in red-hot form made it more tougher for Mahrez to break into the starting XI. 

His second season, however, has been more impactful and influential. Many would even say that he has been City’s best player this season barring Kevin de Bruyne. He has 14 goals and assists in 21 appearances this term and is regularly creating havoc for opposition defences from the right-flank.

There is absolutely no doubt that Riyad Mahrez has cemented himself as one of the best African players the league has ever seen.

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Published 13 Feb 2020, 19:29 IST
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