Top 15 best African players in Premier League history

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8. John Obi Mikel

John Obi Mikel

John Michael Nchekwube Obinna (born 22 April 1987), variously known as John Obi Mikel, John Mikel Obi or Mikel John Obi, is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Chinese club Tianjin TEDA in the Chinese Super League and the Nigeria national team.

The Nigerian midfielder joined the Blues in 2006 for£16m – £4m to his club Lyn in Oslo, plus a further £12m to the Red Devils. Mikel went on to play 374 times for the west London outfit over an 11-year period, winning two Premier League titles, four FA Cups, a Champions League and more.

He may not have been the superstar that many others on the list are (or were), scoring only six goals, but his calm and composed style were a great asset to Chelsea throughout his time in England.

7. Yakubu

Yakubu Aiyegbeni

Yakubu Aiyegbeni (born 22 November 1982), known as Yakubu, is a Nigerian former professional footballer who last played as a striker for Coventry City. His nickname is “The Yak”

His performances in the 2002–03 UEFA Champions League for Maccabi Haifa earned a loan move to English club Portsmouth which became permanent as they were promoted to the Premier League in 2003.

The Nigerian forward had a low-key end to his career in England, enduring three scoreless games for Coventry, but his performances for Portsmouth and Middlesbrough made him one of the most feared Premier League strikers of the mid-2000s.

Everton broke their transfer record to take him to Goodison for £11.25m in 2007. A prolific first season produced 21 goals, but injuries hampered him after that. The Nigerian’s time in England’s top flight came towards its end with a strong loan at Leicester, then a fine 17-goal campaign at Blackburn in spite of relegation. He left the Premier League just five strikes short of 100 goals.

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