Six Expensive African Footballers
We rank the most expensive African footballers as international clubs plan to rebuild ahead of another season.
The summer transfer window is just around the corner and clubs around the world are already chasing their targets ahead of the 2023/24 campaign. Clubs are splashing cash to get the services of African players to help teams improve on physicality, work rate and aggressiveness.
In the recent past, African players have proved they have come of age as far as football is concerned. It explains why the likes of Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Chelsea, Liverpool, Napoli, PSG among others have at least one player from the continent who is a regular.
However, to get the best of services, teams have to dig deep into their pockets and cough a fortune depending on which player they are chasing. It doesn’t matter which position, what is considered is the effectiveness of the player.
In the concluded 2022/23 season, Victor Osimhen continued his exploits by winning the Golden Boot in Serie A – the first for an African player. Elsewhere, Thomas Partey of Arsenal played a vital role in helping Arsenal stage a serious campaign in their quest to win the Premier League but narrowly lost to Manchester City.
Achraf Hakimi was also vital for his country Morocco in the World Cup and extended his impressive form with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.
There has been a buzz about the future of some of these players and OkayAfrica ranks them according to their value, as stated by their clubs. In some cases, players have been ranked according to projected estimations in respect to the current market trends.
6.Riyad Mahrez/Manchester City/Algeria
Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City look on during the Premier League match between Brentford FC and Manchester City at Gtech Community Stadium on May 28, 2023 in Brentford, England.
Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images.
The 32-year-old serial winner turned down advances from the likes of Arsenal to join his current team, Manchester City, who paid his previous club Leicester City £60 in the 2017/18 season.
Mahrez’s stint at Manchester City has been phenomenal. The winger has played 236 matches across all competitions, scoring 78 goals in the process. In the 2022/23 season, the Carthage Eagle found the back of the net five times and provided 10 assists. He had five goals and an assist in the FA Cup in which the Citizens beat city rivals Manchester United to be crowned.
The attacker has further scored three goals and assisted twice in the nine Champions League matches to help the Pep Guardiola-led team make it to the last hurdle where they will play Italian heavyweights Inter Milan. Like fine wine, Mahrez is becoming better with age and it explains why he commands an impressive £35 million, or thereabout, in the current market.
His dribbling skills and unpredictability make him a tough assignment for the defenders and a danger at any given time.
Thomas Partey of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Emirates Stadium on May 28, 2023 in London, United Kingdom.
Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images.
The bulky defensive midfielder was a rock for former La Liga title-winning team Atletico Madrid in the 2020/21 season.
The Gunners, who were in the rebuilding process, snapped the Black Stars man to add steel to the otherwise soft midfield. The North Londoners paid £43 million for the now 29-year-old. Partey has not disappointed for the three seasons he has been with the Mikel Arteta-led team.
The 2022/23 season was his best in the Arsenal colors. He played 33 Premier League matches and scored three goals as the Gunners challenged eventual champions Manchester City for the title.
Rumors have it Arteta is contemplating letting the midfielder leave, and if that happens, the club can fancy their chances of getting at least £40 million for the player. Reports have it that Arsenal are keen on signing West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice to inject pace in their midfield.
Partey’s partner Granit Xhaka has been linked with a move away from the club, and is expected to join Bayer Leverkusen.
4.Sadio Mane/Bayern Munich/Senegal
Sadio Mane of Bayern Munich in action during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern München and RB Leipzig at Allianz Arena on May 20, 2023 in Munich, Germany.
Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images.
Mane was regarded as the heartbeat of Liverpool a couple of seasons ago owing to his industriousness on the pitch. He is one player who can track back and help the team to defend, win back possession, assist and score.
In his six years at Liverpool, the Lion of Teranga played 259 matches in all competitions, scoring 120 goals and providing 48 assists in the process. He won the Premier League, the Uefa Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, the FA Cup among other trophies.
With a year left in his contract, Bayern Munich came calling and Mane did not hesitate, taking a new challenge in Germany. While with the Bavarians, the attacker has already won the Bundesliga title and the DFL-Super Cup in his first season. The 31-year-old’s influence in the league was affected by a knee injury sustained early in the season that saw him miss the World Cup competition.
However, Bayern Munich is ready to listen to offers for Mane after an ugly incident between him and teammate Leroy Sane during their Champions League quarter-final game against Manchester City. Mane’s current market value is in the figure of £57 million.
Mo Salah of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Liverpool FC at The King Power Stadium on May 15, 2023 in Leicester, England.
Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images.
The 30-year-old Pharaohs’ captain endured a tough 2022/23 season. He watched the World Cup from home after Senegal beat them to the spot, and went on to witness his striking partner Sadio Mane leave for Bayern Munich.
It explains the early struggles for the versatile attacker who was getting used to new combinations at Liverpool. Despite that, Salah, who extended his contract at the Merseyside-based team by three years, stepped up when needed by the Reds.
He scored 19 goals in the Premier League and provided 12 assists as Jurgen Klopp’s team labored to a fifth-place finish to qualify for the Europa League next season. Salah’s experience and effectiveness cannot be underrated.
Achraf Hakimi of Paris Saint-Germain runs with the ball during the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain and FC Lorient at Parc des Princes on April 30, 2023 in Paris, France.
Photo by Aurelien Meunier - PSG/PSG via Getty Images.
The recently crowned Ligue 1 champions paid Inter Milan £52 million, back in 2021, to complete the signing of the Morocco defender. The right-back, who can also play as a wing-back, excelled with the Atlas Lions in the 2022 World Cup held in Qatar. The African nation made history by becoming the first team from the continent to reach the semis.
The 24-year-old has been a dependable player for the Parisians both defensively and in attack. In the concluded French top-flight campaign, Hakimi directly contributed to eight goals – having scored five and assisted three. In the Champions League, he played eight matches and had two assists to his name.It is hard to find a defender who commands a significant figure in modern football, yet Hakimi is currently valued at £70 million. Interesting, isn’t it?
Victor Osimhen of SSC Napoli celebrates after scoring the goal of 1-0 during the Serie A football match between SSC Napoli and US Sampdoria at Diego Armando Maradona stadium. Naples (Italy), June 4th, 2023
Photo by Cesare Purini/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images.
The Super Eagle scored 26 goals in the concluded Serie A season as Parthenopeans won the Italian Scudetto for the first time since 1990.
Osimhen finally delivered for Napoli who had shown faith in him after paying former team Lille in excess of £60 million in 2020. In just three seasons, the 24-year-old has scored 50 league goals despite being out on several occasions owing to injuries.
The Nigerian striker is the most sought-after player and has been linked with La Liga giants Real Madrid – who recently parted ways with their established striker Karim Benzema, and Manchester United of England. Napoli has slapped a £150 million price tag on their valuable asset.
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