As the 25th anniversary of the English Premier League enters the final lap, Antonio Conte’s Chelsea has more or less assured themselves their 5th title in the Premier League era. The fight for the remaining three Champions Leagues spots is still on though with a total of 5 teams namely Tottenham, Manchester City, Liverpool, United & Arsenal all still in the mix. Down at the bottom quarter of the table, the relegation dogfight also promises an exciting conclusion with last year’s EPL Champions – Leicester City facing a very real threat of being relegated to the Championship.
Over the last 25 years, the Premier League has played host to many world class talents from across the globe. Arguably, Africa has been a favorite among the Premier League clubs with respect to importing young raw talent. Looking back at the history of the league, none can deny the impact that African players have had in the competition. From Didier Drogba who helped Chelsea to their 1st ever EPL title in the 2004/05 season to Yaya Toure who has helped Manchester City to multiple Premier League titles, a look back at the history of England’s premier competition is incomplete without going through the African influence on the league.
The 2016/17 Premier League Season
Starting from Zimbabwean Peter Ndlovu back in 1992/93 season, a total of 246 Africans have featured in the Premier League up and until the 2016/17 season. The 25th anniversary of the Premier League season has a total of 47 Africans involved in the competition & this makes up for roughly around 9% of the total number of players. Bruce Grobbelaar, Peter Ndlovu & Nayim, the African trio who had featured in the 1st ever Premier League season contributed only a total of 10 goals out of the total of 1222 goals scored in the league that season.
Compare this to the stats of the ongoing 2016/17 season, where 73 of the 762 goals scored till game week 29 were by Africans. The number of Africans who are featuring in the league has gradually increased over the years. The 2007/08 season, which marked United’s 10th Premier League title edging out Chelsea by just two points had a total of 59 African involved & it remains to this day as the best represented African season in the Premier League’s history.
Coming back to the 2016/17 season, the current Premier League champions, Leicester City has the largest African Contingent in their squad with a total of 6 players in their rank. Sadio Mane leads the charge with regard to the best African performers this season , the Senegalese international has been instrumental in Liverpool’s top 4 challenge so far. Victor Moses is another player that deserves mention having turned his career around with the arrival of Antonio Conte at Chelsea. There are several others such as Joel Matip, Victor Wanyama, Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi all of whom have excelled for their respective clubs this season.
List of African Premier League Champions
While his career with Arsenal was not something that one would envy with, Christopher Wreh was the first African to win a premier league medal having been part of Arsenal’s 1997/98 campaign. Since then a total of 13 Africans players has gone on to win the Premier League  Winner’s medal which includes the Leicester trio of Riyad Mahrez, Jeffery Schlupp & Daniel Amartey who won the title last season. Some of the other prominent Africans who have the coveted prize include Didier Drogba (04/05, 05/06, 09/10 & 14/15), Micheal Essien (05/06 & 09/10) and Nwankwo Kanu (01/02 & 03/04).
Africans are Best for Business
As mentioned earlier, with prices for already established European players going beyond insurmountable sums, Premier League clubs have identified the African continent as a viable place to lure good young talent  at relatively low fees. Kolo Toure, for example, joined Arsenal from Ivorian club ASEC Mimosas for just over 200,000€ during the 2002/03 season. 7 year later when he made the move to Man City, the Manchester Blues’ had to pay a total of 18.7€ million for his services. There are numerous other examples such as Sadio Mane, Wilfred Boney & Victor Wanyama all of whom were brought by premier league clubs for relatively low fees & later sold at much higher prices. The great pool of talented Africans have also helped in raising the league’s popularity in the continent which has most recently bagged a 5€ billion
There are numerous other examples such as Sadio Mane, Wilfred Boney & Victor Wanyama all of whom were brought by premier league clubs for relatively low fees & later sold at much higher prices. The great pool of talented Africans has also helped in raising the league’s popularity in the continent which has most recently helped it bag a 5€ billion tv deal in the continent.
 Just-Football.com, 2016/17 season’s best African Performers
 Kwesesports.com, Africans who have won the Premier League
 Venturesafrica.com, Premier League’s African Business