So many Africans have crossed the seas and waded into Europe to play their hearts out for soccer leagues which have wholesome funding to pay for their prowess on the pitch.
Understandably we had to take into account both past and present ability on the pitch in the 2015 calendar year. Here, we examine some of the top African performers for a European club.
YAYA TOURE (MANCHESTER CITY)
Gnégnéri Yaya Touré, known as Yaya Touré, is an Ivorian professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for Premier League club Manchester City and the Ivory Coast national team
Toure could continue his unprecedented domination of the African Footballer of the Year accolade after being named as one of three finalists for the 2015 award. The Manchester City’s midfield powerhouse will go up against Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Andre Ayew as he bids to win the prize for a fifth successive year.
In 2014 Toure, who captained Ivory Coast to the Africa Cup of Nations title in Equatorial Guinea in February, became the first player to win the Footballer of the Year award four times. The 32-year old who has not played for his country since the Nations Cup has not done this year, which when put into proper perspective, isn’t really mind blowing.
ODION IGHALO (WATFORD)
Odion Jude Ighalo is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays for English club Watford and the Nigeria national team as a striker.
With all eyes on Lukaku, Vardy and the incredible Leicester City story this season, the achievements of Watford’s Odion Ighalo cannot be overlooked after finishing the year with 30 goals, making him the highest goal scorer in England’s top four tiers in 2015.
The Nigerian’s form really took off in the Sky Bet Championship around the turn of the year and he’s not looked back after helping his side to promotion. Ighalo’s 2015 tally started in somewhat more forgettable fashion. The former Udinese and Granada striker netted for the Hornets in a 3-1 away defeat to Huddersfield in the Championship, on January 10, but kicked on to score an unprecedented seven goals in January, before following up with six in February.
Despite failing to find the back of the net in the whole of March, the 26-year-old failed to score netted three times in April as Watford secured automatic promotion to the Barclay’s Premier League.
Since making the step up to the Premier League, Ighalo has forged an even more formidable strike partnership with Troy Deeney under Quique Sanchez Flores. He has at press time bagged 14 goals in 19 top flight appearances this season to place third on the EPL top scorers chart –one goal behind Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy and Everton’s Romelu Lukaku.
Pierre-Emerick Emiliano François Aubameyang is a Gabonese professional footballer who plays for the German club Borussia Dortmund and the Gabon national football team
The Gabon international has an incredible 24 goals to his name already this term and has been linked in the papers with a move to the Premier League. Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal are reportedly linked with a move for the forward.
Signing Aubameyang would give any of the Premier League sides a major boost in the Premier League title race but big-money will be needed to tempt Dortmund into parting ways with one of their most priced asset.
RIYAD MAHREZ (LEICESTER CITY)
Riyad Mahrez is a professional footballer who plays for English club Leicester City and the Algerian national team as a winger. Mahrez began his career as a youth player for French club AAS Sarcelles
While Jamie Vardy has made the headlines with his record goalscoring run but many who go to the King Power week in, week out would argue it’s inspirational attacking midfielder Mahrez who has been the star turn this season.
Previously accused of attempting one trick too many and failing to deliver an end product, Mahrez has taken his form to new levels in the Premier League, notching 13 goals and seven assists at the halfway stage.
There are without doubt some surprises in this list, so we want to hear what you think about our selections. If you think you would change players around in the pecking order then don’t be afraid to leave your comment, alternatively if you think we have forgotten anyone or you want to banish any of the players from the list, please do so with a comment.