African : Eight things about Premier League Africans

The English Premier League has released the official list of 25-player squads for the 2016/17 season. The BBC’s Stanley Kwenda looks at eight things about the African players in the Premier League.

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Nine per cent

There are 45 African players plying their trade in the Premier League this season – the number remains unchanged from last season.

This is 9% of the total of 500 players.

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None in Southampton

Only one team (Southampton) has no African players in its ranks following the departure of Victor Wanyama and Sadio Mane for Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool respectively.

Mane, who is currently on international duty for Senegal, has told the BBC that hedoes not feel any pressure being Africa’s most expensive footballer.

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Team Senegal

Senegal has the largest contingent of players in the league, with nine, followed by Nigeria and Ivory Coast, each with five players, Algeria has four while Ghana has three.

The country can almost make its own premier league team. It has a fine balance of wingers, strikers and defenders:

Cheikhou Kouyate (West Ham United)

Diafra Sakho (West Ham United)

Pape Souare (Crystal Palace)

Idrissa Gana (Everton)

Oumar Niasse (Everton)

Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City)

Papi Djilobodji (Sunderland)

Lamine Kone (Sunderland)

All they need is a goalkeeper.

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No goalkeeper

Strangely, there is no African goalkeeper among the 45 African players in the premier league. Well, unless you want to count Steve Mandanda, the DR Congo-born Crystal Palace goalkeeper who plays his international football with France.

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Leicester 5 – Sunderland 5

Premier League champions Leicester City and Sunderland have the highest African representation with five players each.

Everton, Watford and West Ham United follow closely with four players each:

Sunderland has a rich African history. It has been home to some of Africa’s greatest footballers such as Cameroon’s Patrick Mboma, Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan and John Mensah, Zimbabwe’s Benjani Mwaruwari and Morocco Talal El Karkouri.

Last year Crystal Palace had the highest number of African players, with five in total but it has since gone down to three.

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Two firsts

Equatorial Guinea and Libya have their first Premier League players this season in the form of Middlesbrough defender Emilio Nsue and Manchester United’s Sadik El Fitouri, respectively.


Ivory Coast Defender Eric Bailly is one of the highest profile African players to join the Premier League this season. His £30m ($40m) transfer fee ranks him among the most expensive defenders.

There is no way we can  forget Steven Jerome Pienaar who is  a South African professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Sunderland, and was captain of the South African national team until October 2012

Please if anyone is missing comment by his name , country and team.