African footballers have been at the forefront of European football, with the bulk of the continent’s big hitters having significant African influence within their squads. Players such as Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, and Riyad Mahrez, have become household names in the English Premier League. In recognition of the African impact on the game, here is a list of the top 10 most expensive African footballers of all time.
10 Most Expensive African Footballers
5). Pierre Emerick Aubameyang – ₤63.8 Million
Gabonese star, Pierre Emrick Aubameyang is not only one of the richest and highest paid African footballers but also one of the most expensive African footballers of all time. The 32-year-old player was signed by Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund for a club-record fee, of £63.8 Million.
Abumeyang began his career playing for Italian club AC Milan, but never appeared for the club as he went on a series of loan spells in France. He moved to Saint-Étienne in 2011. There, he won a Coupe de la Ligue title and joined Borussia Dortmund in 2013.
At Borrusia Dortmund, Aubameyang finished as the league’s top goalscorer in the 2016–17 season and won a DFB-Pokal. With Arsenal, he won an FA Cup and finished as the league’s joint-top goalscorer in the 2018–19 season. In 2022, Aubameyang joined Barcelona after his contract was canceled by mutual consent.
4). Cedric Bakambu – ₤65 Million
DR Congo’s Cedric Bakambu was signed for a record fee of £65m. He was signed by the Chinese outfit, Beijing Guoan from Villarreal in 2018.
Bakambu made his professional debut for Sochaux in 2010, and played 107 official games for them over five seasons, scoring 21 goals. He then moved to Bursaspor for €1.8 million, finishing as top scorer as his team came runners-up in the Turkish Cup, before signing for Villarreal a year later.
Like many on their Cedric of many honors including the UEFA European Under-19 Championship in 2010. He also won the Chinese FA Cup in his debut season at Beijing Guoan.
3). Riyad Mahrez – ₤67.8 Million
The Captain of the Algerian national team was signed for a transfer fee of £67.8 Million in 2018. The 31-year-old striker was signed by Manchester City from Leicester City.
In the 2015–16 season, He helped Leicester City win the Premier League, and was the Algerian Footballer of the Year, the PFA Players’ Player of the Year, and a member of the Premier League PFA Team of the Year. He also won the Premier League, FA Cup, and EFL Cup in his debut season at Manchester City.
He was named CAF’s African Footballer of the Year in 2016 and won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019.
2). Victor Osimhen – ₤70 Million
Nigerian star, Victor Osimhen takes second place among the most expensive African footballers of all time. He was signed by Napoli from Lille for a club-record fee of £70m in 2020.
Initially, neither of the clubs officially gave details of the transfer, a source from Lille, who is familiar with the transfer, told AFP that the Ligue 1 team would receive 70 million euros with add-ons potentially worth 10 million euros.
Osimhen began his senior career in Germany at VfL Wolfsburg in 2017. Following a season and a half at the club, he moved to Belgian side Charleroi on loan in 2018–19, before moving to France at Lille. He is a recipient of many honors including the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2015.
1). Nicolas Pepe – ₤80 Million
Ivory Coast winger, Nicolas Pepe is the most expensive African Footballer of all time. He was signed for Arsenal from Lille for a club-record fee of £72m in 2019.
Pépé began his senior club career with Poitiers in the Championnat de France Amateur 2. He signed for Angers in 2013 and spent a season on loan at Orléans in 2015. He signed for Lille in 2017 and was named to the UNFP Ligue 1 Team of the Year in the 2018–19 season.
Pepe is a quick and skilled attacking winger who is comfortable on both flanks but usually plays on the right-wing cutting onto his left foot. He won the FA Cup in his debut season at Arsenal.
Top 10 most expensive African footballers of all time
|1||Nicolas Pepe||₤80 Million||Ivory Coast|
|2||Victor Osimhen||₤70 Million||Nigeria|
|3||Riyad Mahrez||₤67.8 Million||Algeria|
|4||Cedric Bakambu||₤65 Million||DR Congo|
|5||Pierre Emrick Aubameyang||₤63.8 Million||Gabon|
|6||Naby Keita||₤60 Million||Guinea|
|7||Achraf Hakimi||₤60 Million||Morocco|
|8||Sébastien Haller||₤50 Million||Ivory Coast|
|9||Thomas Party||₤50 Million||Ghana|
|10||Mohamed Salah||₤42 Million||Egypt|