EPLNigerian Footballers AbroadOff the Pitch

Ola Aina picks his top-five African players in Premier League history

Super Eagles defender Ola Aina recently appeared on the Premier League’s blind ranking segment where he shared his top five African players in Premier League history.

That list has Nigerian legends Austin Jay-Jay Okocha and Kanu Nwankwo. Aina, who plays for Nottingham Forest, sparked a lively debate by ranking Chelsea icon Didier Drogba ahead of his Nigerian compatriots.

Ola Aina’s Top Five African Premier League Legends
  1. Didier Drogba
    Ola Aina emphatically ranked Didier Drogba as the greatest African player in Premier League history. Drogba’s remarkable goal-scoring record and his trophy-laden tenure at Chelsea, where he won four Premier League titles and the UEFA Champions League, left a lasting impression on Aina.

    Didier Drogba is the greatest African player ever in the Premier League according to Ola Aina.
    Didier Drogba is the greatest African player ever in the Premier League according to Ola Aina.

On his choice of Drogba, Aina said “Of course, I knew it was Didier,” Aina stated emphatically. “Come on, man, Didier, and I would have put him number one if he came up first.”

  1. Yaya Toure
    Another Ivorian great, Yaya Toure, made Aina’s list, highlighting his significant impact during his time at Manchester City, where he played a crucial role in the club’s transformation into a Premier League powerhouse.
  2. Austin Jay-Jay Okocha
    Widely regarded as one of the most skilful players in the Premier League, Okocha’s mesmerizing performances for Bolton Wanderers in the 2000s earned him legendary status. His flair and creativity made him a fan favorite and an inspiration for many young Nigerian footballers.
  3. Kanu Nwankwo
    Kanu’s time in the Premier League, notably with Arsenal, where he won two Premier League titles and two FA Cups, solidified his reputation as one of Africa’s finest footballers. His technical skills and clutch performances in big games endeared him to fans.
  4. Mohamed Salah
    Mohamed Salah completes Aina’s list considering his record-breaking goal-scoring feats and multiple titles with Liverpool, including a Premier League title and a Champions League trophy.

Aina’s decision to place Drogba and Toure above Okocha and Kanu may be controversial among Nigerian football fans, as both Okocha and Kanu are celebrated figures in Nigerian football history. However, Aina’s rankings reflect his appreciation for the tangible success and influence that Drogba and Toure had in the Premier League.

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