The world’s most glamorous club championship has been blessed by the incredible talents of some of the most outstanding Africans in the last few decades
Newcastle great Alan Shearer has named Bolton Wanderers legend Austin Okocha and Arsenal icon Nwankwo Kanu among the ten greatest ever African stars in the English Premier League.
Nigerian stars like John Mikel Obi, Celestine Babayaro, Victor Moses, and others have all excelled in the English top flight. Still, Shearer is convinced that Kanu and Okocha tower above them all.
Kanu arrived in London from Inter Milan in 1999 and stayed at Arsenal until 2004, winning two Premier League titles and two FA Cup honours.
The former Ajax man later wore the badges of Portsmouth and West Brom, inspiring the former to another FA Cup triumph in 2008.
Okocha joined Kanu in England in 2002 after swapping PSG for Bolton Wanderers and becoming a cult hero for the Trotters.
In 2017, the prodigiously gifted playmaker was voted the best player to have ever played for Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok/Macron Stadium, forever sealing his legacy at the club.
Shearer, the Premier League’s record goalscorer, has heaped praises on Okocha during the latest episode of Match of the Day: Top 10 monitored by Soccernet.ng.
While Shearer, one of England’s greatest ever goalscorers, placed Kanu in number seven on the list of the Premier League’s finest Africans, the Blackburn hero ranked Okocha 10th, alongside the likes of Didier Drogba, Mohamed Salah, and Yaya Toure.
Shearer revealed he would have put Okocha higher on the list but his low goals stat was a holdback.
“When I think of him, I just think of someone who was happy,” said Shearer of the former PSG midfielder.
“The players they had there at Bolton – that team they had there was incredible.
“They did remarkably well to get him there really. They got him from PSG, on a free as well, so great business from Bolton. A very good player.
“He didn’t score many goals, though; that is why I’ve got him 10th.
“124 (Premier League) appearances, 14 goals. With someone of his ability, you would expect him to have got more.”
Shearer’s full list
1. Didier Drogba
2. Mohamed Salah
3. Sadio Mane
4. Yaya Toure
5. Riyad Mahrez
6. Michael Essien
7. Nwankwo Kanu
8. Emmanuel Adebayor
9. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
10. Austin Okocha