Clear winner in poll on best African player in PL

Date published: Sunday 22nd January 2017 11:52

Fans have voted on who they believe to be the best African player currently playing in the Premier League.

The 2017 African Cup of Nations is continuing apace in Gabon and, with it, a number of Premier League clubs have been deprived of some of their best stars.

The number of talented footballers hailing from the continent of Africa has increased exponentially in the past decade, but just which of the current crop do fans consider to be the best in England’s top flight? 90min readers have had their say…

With a whopping 58% of the votes, Liverpool’s Sadio Mane absolutely destroyed the competition in a recently conducted poll, which is mightily impressive when you consider some of the names on show.

The pacy Reds attacker only joined Jurgen Klopp’s revolution in the summer, but he has already repaid some of the £35m transfer fee he cost with nine goals and seven assists to his name.

The Senegal international is currently tearing it up in Gabon too, with two goals in as many matches for his national side. Considering he was only playing for RB Salzburg four and a half years ago, it’s been a meteoric rise for the 24-year-old.

Some distance off in second place, Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez can consider himself unfortunate to not be battling Mane out for first place.

The 2015/16 Player of the Season tore up England’s top flight with a whole host of outstanding displays as the Foxes strolled to a first ever Premier League title, but the Algerian winger has failed to live up to those heights so far this term.

Leicester have notably struggled throughout 2016/17 in domestic competitions, and their low position in the standings at the halfway stage have no doubt contributed to Mahrez’s own low polling.

Two namesakes now, with Chelsea’s Victor Moses and Tottenham Hotspur’s Victor Wanyama battling it out for third and fourth respectively.

Moses has been one of the Blues’ most underrated performers this season, with the Nigerian utilised as an auxiliary right wingback in Antonio Conte’s side. Surprisingly, though, the wide man has taken to his newfound role extremely well, and has helped propel Chelsea to the top of the league table as a result.

Spurs’ Wanyama, meanwhile, has settled in well to life in North London following his summer move from Southampton. The powerful defensive midfielder has played his part in helping the Lilywhites up to second and, with other African stars away on international duty, has remained in England – Kenya failing to qualify for the AFCoN tournament – to help solidify their title push.

Bringing up the rear are Manchester City’s Yaya Toure and Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha.

Toure was once considered to be the world’s most well-rounded midfielder and, while he still commands a place in Pep Guardiola’s side after apologising for his agent’s behaviour earlier in the season, is approaching 35 years of age now and will likely be on the decline soon.

In contrast, Zaha still has plenty of first-team football to look forward to due to his tender age of 24. A former England international, Zaha was coaxed into switching allegiances and now turns out for the Ivory Coast. If he can improve his end product for both club and country, he may feature higher in any similar poll next time around.

By Tom Power,

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