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Celebrating the African impact at the pinnacle of the Premier League this season

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The Premier League is often the hotbed for the best talents in world football, and for those who want to prove themselves at the highest stage. Indeed, African players have imprinted their memories in the history of the English top flight and several more continue to lead the headlines in the present day.

The continent proved its ability to dominate the top flight when three Africans shared the Premier League Golden Boot for the 2018/19 season.

Mohamed Salah continues to lead Liverpool’s title charge as he became the record African goalscorer in Premier League history this season and his exploits have been closely followed by fellow Africans who are sharing a place at the pinnacle of the league in the individual charts.

With the Africa Cup of Nations set to begin in Cameroon in nine days, Xpooze Global News  assess the impact of African players at the top of the Premier League ranks and examine how much their influence will be missed during the continental tournament.

African stars leading the way

Salah leads the goal contributions per 90 minutes statistic in the Premier League this season (1.35) and it is no surprise given he has notched 24 direct goal involvements in just 18 games.

However, the Egyptian is followed on that list by Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez (1.07) who has been his usual clinical self.

Paul Pogba (of Guinean descent), Mason Mount and Nigeria’s Emmanuel Dennis make up the top five most dangerous attackers per 90 minutes, with three African internationals in the league’s top five.

15 goals and nine assists for Salah makes him by far the best attacking player in the Premier League – and arguably the most in-form player since the start of the 2021/22 season. The fact other Afcon-bound players join him on that exclusive list of efficient forwards bodes well for the entertainment levels at Cameroon 2021.

From only 15 games, just four players have scored more goals than Dennis, who has revived his career as one of the best forwards in the league for promoted Watford.

While Dennis won’t ultimately be present at the Nations Cup, the tournament truly can be seen as a fiesta of some sensational attacking talent, while the stats highlight the influence of African players at the top end of world football.

Of course, international football throws up different challenges and systems for players, but some of the headline players are able to provide moments of magic in tough circumstances such as the most difficult league in the world.

The Premier League will certainly be weaker for Mahrez and Salah’s absence in January, but the PL’s loss is African football’s game as the continent’s supporters are set to benefit from such elite goal-grabbers.