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North London Derby: Who are the top Africans to play for Arsenal or Spurs?

00:10 GMT+3 01/10/2022
Kanu Thierry Henry Arsenal
Who are the greatest African players to play in the North London derby?

  • Thomas Partey Arsenal 2020

    #10 Thomas Partey

    Partey signed for Arsenal from Atletico Madrid on transfer deadline day 2020, and quickly set about winning over admirers at Arsenal.

    His experience in Spain, plus his ability to control the midfield, should have made him a valuable asset in Mikel Arteta's rebuild, although in truth, he's struggled with fitness issues and rarely shown his best in North London.

  • Serge Aurier Tottenham 2019-20

    #9 Serge Aurier

    Much maligned in England, largely due to his erratic form and rash decision-making, Aurier has nonetheless been one of Africa's finest full-backs over the last ten years.

    He was an African Cup of Nations winner with the Ivory Coast in 2015, and would go on to enjoy immense success with Paris least until things went south in the French capital.

    He's a two-time French champion, has been named in Caf's African Team of the Year on multiple occasions, but his time at Spurs was a disappointment.

  • Kevin-Prince Boateng Fiorentina 2019-20

    #8 Kevin-Prince Boateng

    Prince spent time at Tottenham Hotspur earlier in his career when he was signed from Hertha Berlin on a four-year contract in 2007.

    The midfielder would not stay there for long, though, being frozen out of the squad by three managers due to a perceived lack of work ethic and moving onto Portsmouth.

    He moved to Barcelona in the January transfer window 2019 following a productive spell in Germany with Eintracht Frankfurt, and is currently back with Hertha following time spent with Besiktas, Fiorentina and others.

  • Steven Pienaar March 19, 2019

    #7 Steven Pienaar

    Spurs signed Pienaar in 2011 ahead of Chelsea, although for one reason or another, the South Africa international failed to show his best form in London and struggled to recreate the quality he’d demonstrated at Everton.

    All too often Pienaar was battling injuries, and a series of anonymous performances didn’t help, before he returned to Merseyside—initially on loan—in January 2012.

    The attacker won a host of honours with Ajax, including two Eredivisie titles.

  • Frederic Kanoute

    #6 Frederic Kanoute

    Kanoute spent two years at Tottenham Hotspur, but enjoyed his greatest years elsewhere.

    The forward moved to Sevilla in 2005, where he won two consecutive Uefa Cups, a Uefa Super Cup, two Copa del Rey titles, and also collected an African Footballer of the Year award in 2007.

  • Emmanuel Adebayor

    #5 Emmanuel Adebayor

    There are very few African players who have managed to split opinion as much as Adebayor.

    He made 143 appearances for Arsenal and scored 62 goals for them, 30 of which came in the 2007/08 season.

    Yet that record does not hold him in good stead with the Gunners faithful.

    In a less fruitful venture, Adebayor also played for Tottenham Hotspur, yielding 18 goals in 47 games in a spell that lasted three-and-a-half years.

  • Lauren Etame Meyer

    #4 Lauren

    Lauren was a key player in two magnificent teams; perhaps most famous for playing his part as a starter in Arsenal's Invincibles, he also shone as Cameroon won consecutive Africa Cup of Nations, and picked up an Olympic gold medal.

    A class act!

  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Wolves Arsenal 2019-20

    #3 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

    A one-time African Footballer of the Year, it’s testament to Aubameyang’s consistency and regular output in front of goal that he made Caf’s podium on a further four occasions—finishing runner-up twice and third-place twice.

    On six occasions, Auba has made Caf’s Team of the Year, while he’s won the Golden Boot in both England and Germany, memorably knocking Robert Lewandowski off his perch in the 2016-17 season.

    A year earlier, Aubameyang had won the Bundesliga Players’ Player of the Year award, although while he struck double figures for goals in the league for nine consecutive years, he's never won a major league title in his career.

    Could he change that at Chelsea?

  • Kolo Toure, Arsenal

    #2 Kolo Toure

    When Arsenal’s 'Invincibles' were at the peak of their powers, Toure was a rock in the heart of of their defence.

    He formed a solid partnership with former Tottenham hero Sol Campbell and is considered to be one of Arsene Wenger’s most astute buys.

    The Ivorian was a no-nonsense, tough-tackling defender, and the Gunners have struggled to replace him since his departure.

    He remained in the Premier League with Manchester City and Liverpool, and announced his retirement following a title-winning campaign with Celtic.

    He's returned to the Premier League as part of Brendan Rodgers' coaching staff at Leicester City.


    #1 Nwankwo Kanu

    Kanu was one of the first successful Africans to grace the Premier League, and he did it in outstanding fashion with Arsenal.

    The Nigeria striker was in a class of his own, winning the African Footballer of the Year award twice, three FA Cups, and the Premier league twice as a Gunner.

    He also won the Uefa Champions League with Ajax and the Uefa Cup with Inter Milan, all the while impressing with his invention and glorious footwork.