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Arsenal vs Liverpool: Who are their greatest African players?

15:12 GMT+3 16/03/2022
Kanu Nwankwo
Ahead of their showdown on Wednesday, GOAL rank the 10 greatest African players to play for either the Reds or the Gunners

  • Gervinho Arsenal

    #10 Gervinho

    The former AS Roma star struggled at Arsenal after arriving from LOSC Lille, and left complaining that he was never properly given the opportunity to impress by Arsene Wenger.

    Currently back in Italy with Parma after a spell with Hebei China Fortune in the CSL, he remains a menacing presence in wide areas and was influential as the Cote d'Ivoire won the Afcon title in 2015, being named in the team of the tournament.

  • Alex Song - Arsenal

    #9 Alex Song

    His time at Barcelona may have ended in disappointment, but the ex-Cameroon midfielder demonstrated his class during a long spell with Arsenal.

    He transferred to Catalonia at the height of his powers and despite a considerable honours haul, he never quite replicated the fine form of that sterling final campaign at the Emirates Stadium.

    Song is currently playing in Djibouti with Arta Solar 7.

  • Emmanuel Adebayor

    #8 Emmanuel Adebayor

    Adebayor has often been a polarising figure in world football.

    It seems that, as soon as he starts to get the fans on his side, he does something that conjures up the ire of his supporters.

    He has represented a host of high-profile clubs, including Spanish giants Real Madrid and Arsenal, among others, and departed the Gunners for Manchester City in 2009 for a fee believed to be about £25 million, making him, at one point, Africa's most expensive player.

    He remained at the Etihad Stadium until 2011, when he joined Tottenham Hotspur.

  • Bruce Grobbelaar

    #7 Bruce Grobbelaar

    The Zimbabwe stopper is remembered as one of Africa’s finest goalkeepers in history…and is certainly the most successful.

    He was a key man in one of Liverpool’s greatest sides, winning six titles and three domestic cups during his time at Anfield.

    He was influential as the Reds won the European Cup in 1984, putting AS Roma’s strikers off with his infamous bandy legs in the final shootout.

  • Lauren Etame Meyer

    #6 Lauren

    A key figure in Arsenal’s Invincibles side of the middle of the last decade, Lauren arguably never truly got the credit he deserved for his contribution.

    He began his career as a winger but was converted to right-back in North London and won the double in 2002.

    With Cameroon, he won two Afcon titles, and the Olympic gold in 2000.

  • Kolo Toure Arsenal Premier League

    #5 Kolo Toure

    Toure was a part of the 'Invincibles' squad that went on a 49-game unbeaten run in the 2003-04 season.

    He was a solid and commanding presence in the heart of defence, and, in 2009, moved to Manchester City at the height of his powers, spending four years there.

    He was one of the first pieces that were put together to form the dominant City outfit to which we have become accustomed.

    The ex-centre-back is currently Leicester City assistant manager under his ex-Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers.

  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal 2019-20

    #4 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

    Aubameyang was a model of goalscoring consistency for his first few seasons at Arsenal after signing from Borussia Dortmund in 2018.

    In Germany, he was named Bundesliga Player of the Year and knocked Robert Lewandowski off his perch to win the Golden Boot in the 2016-17 season, with a superb return of 31 goals.

    English defences fared little better than their German counterparts when it comes to keeping Auba at bay, and he was a Golden Boot winner in 2019, but signed for Barcelona earlier this year after things soured at the Emirates Stadium.

  • Kanu Nwankwo

    #3 Nwankwo Kanu

    The two-time African Footballer of the Year overcame adversity early in his career to become a fan favourite at Arsenal, arguably Nigeria's greatest player of all time and one of the most decorated Africans in history.

    Few could match the technique and unpredictability which made him a hero in North London, and he won two titles and two FA Cups with the Gunners.

  • Sadio Mane Liverpool 2019-20

    #2 Sadio Mane

    Since moving to Liverpool from Southampton, Mane has proved that he firmly belongs at one of the world’s major clubs.

    He was the Reds’ Player of the Season during his first season, despite missing the end of the campaign due to injury and being absent during the Africa Cup of Nations, and was influential as they reached two Champions League finals, winning the title in 2019.

    After winning the Golden Boot with 22 goals, Mane clinched a Premier League winner's medal in 2020, and is a bona fide legend at Anfield.

    He's also beloved among Senegal fans, having struck the decisive penalty earlier this year as the Teranga Lions won their first ever Nations Cup title.

  • Mohamed Salah Liverpool

    #1 ​Mohamed Salah

    Salah has been one of the continent’s outstanding individuals in recent years, and is a two-time Caf African Footballer of the Year.

    The forward has broken records aplenty at Anfield, winning the Premier League and Champions League in the process, and became Africa's all-time top scorer in the top flight when he eclipsed Didier Drogba earlier this year.

    Can Salah get his hands on another Prem or European title before the end of the season?