African All Stars

Emmanuel Adebayor: Where does birthday boy rank among Africa's top Premier League goalscorers?

19:10 SAST 2022/02/26
Emmanuel Adebayor Arsenal Derby 2008
As the Togo great turns 38, we assess his standing among the continent's greatest Prem goalscorers

  • Kelechi Iheanacho, Burnley vs Leicester, Premier League 2020-21

    =19. Kelechi Iheanacho

    Still going strong at Leicester City, the Nigeria striker has scored 35 goals across his time with the Foxes and, before that, Manchester City.

    If he can build on his fine form from last season, he will soon climb much higher in this list.

  • Wilfried Bony Swansea City

    =19. Wilfried Bony

    Once Africa’s most expensive player, Bony was outstanding for Swansea City after moving to the Premier League from Dutch football.

    A move to Manchester City ultimately didn’t work out, although after further stints with the Swans and Stoke City, he ended his time in the top flight with 35 goals.

  • Peter Odemwingie West Bromwich Albion February 2012

    =17. Peter Odemwingie

    Odemwingie arguably hasn’t got the credit he’s deserved for his superb form while with West Bromwich Albion, although he also went on to net for Stoke City and Cardiff City.

    He ended his Prem career with 36 goals.

  • John Obi Mikel's 10 years at Chelsea

    =17. Salomon Kalou

    Typically used off the bench by Chelsea, Kalou nonetheless registered 36 goals in the Premier League for the Blues.

    He was a Champions League winner in 2012.

  • Benni McCarthy of Bafana Bafana.

    =15. Benni McCarthy

    A flop at West Ham United—the less said about that the better—McCarthy scored 37 goals across three and a half seasons with Blackburn Rovers.

    His best return came in 2006-07, when he scored 18 in a single campaign.

  • Papiss Demba Cisse of Newcastle United

    =15. Papiss Demba Cisse

    Cisse started life in the Premier League with a blaze of goals, netting 13 goals in his first 14 goals for Newcastle United.

    He wasn’t able to maintain that scoring rate, scoring just 24 more across the next four seasons.

  • Frederic Kanoute of West Ham

    =12. Freddie Kanoute

    Mali great Kanoute went on to achieve greater success in Sevilla after leaving the Premier League, having previously scored 43 goals for West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur.

    He holds the honour of becoming the first non-African-born player to be named African Footballer of the Year.

  • Demba Ba Liverpool Chelsea 2014

    =12. Demba Ba

    Another Newcastle United stalwart on this list, 29 of Ba’s 43 Prem goals came for the Magpies.

    He also bagged seven each for West Ham United and Chelsea.

  • Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi

    =12.Shola Ameobi

    Ameobi never registered double figures in a single Prem season, but his longevity with Newcastle United resulted in an overall return of 43 top flight goals.

  • Efan Ekoku of Wimbledon, Aston Villa's Gareth Southgate

    11. Efan Ekoku

    Africa’s forgotten Premier League great, Ekoku registered 52 goals in the top flight, enjoying memorable stints with Norwich City and Wimbledon.

    He was an Africa Cup of Nations winner with Nigeria in 1994.


    10. Nwankwo Kanu

    54 goals is a fine return for the unpredictable Nigeria forward, who tended to be a scorer of great—or important—goals, rather than a great scorer of goals.

  • Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace.

    9. Wilfried Zaha

    To date, Zaha has scored 55 goals in the Premier League—mainly for Crystal Palace—having returned to the club for a second spell after things didn’t work out with Manchester United.

    Could the Ivorian wideman have achieved even greater things if he’d been given more time to make his mark at Old Trafford?

    He recently overtook Kanu in the all-time standings, having taken his tally this season to eight goals in 21 outings.

  • Yaya Toure Manchester City

    8. Yaya Toure

    One of only two players—along with Frank Lampard—to have struck at least 20 goals from the centre of midfield in a single Premier League season.

    It’s a remarkable feat for the Cote d’Ivoire midfielder, whose return of 62 goals puts him eighth in the all-time African standings.

  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal 2021-22

    7. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

    68 goals since arriving in the Premier League is a strong return for the Gabon hitman, even if his numbers have dipped in recent months.

    Is this the last we'll see of Auba in the English game, or will he be back one day?

  • Riyad Mahrez Manchester City 2020-21

    6. Riyad Mahrez

    The third most prolific African player still active in the Premier League, Mahrez has scored 74 goals across his spells with Leicester City and Manchester City.

    It’s a superb return for a player who is as well known for his creative contribution as for his goalscoring.

  • Yakubu Aiyegbeni Everton

    5. Yakubu

    The Nigeria striker never featured for a genuine Prem giant like the four players ahead of him on this list, which makes his haul of 95 with the likes of Everton, Portsmouth and Middlesbrough particularly impressive

  • Emmanuel Adebayor

    4. Emmanuel Adebayor

    Just missing out on a century of Prem goals, the birthday boy netted 97 across his time with Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace.

    Such a complete attacker, there’s a sense that the Togo striker never truly realised his potential, with his inconsistent application not helping matters.

  • Didier Drogba

    3. Didier Drogba

    The long-standing African top scorer in the Prem for many years, Drogba's tally of 104 goals was testament to his consistency...and also brought him a considerable trophy haul with Chelsea.

  • Sadio Mane Liverpool 2021-22

    2. Sadio Mane

    Closing in on the top two, Mane reached a century of Premier League goals in the autumn when he found the net against Watford.

    He's currently outright No. 2 on the list with 106 goals, and could he even find himself atop the standings one day?

  • Mohamed Salah Liverpool

    1. Mohamed Salah

    The Egypt superstar set the record for goals scored by an African player in the top flight when he eclipsed Drogba and the Ivorian's long-standing record last year.

    Currently on 116 goals, Salah is on the brink of the all-time Prem top 20, with Romelu Lukaku ahead of him in 20th on 118 goals.