The five most expensive African player transfers of all time

Lille's Nigerian forward Victor Osimhen (L) celebrates after scoring during the French L1 football match between Lille (LOSC) and Brest at the Pierre Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, northern France on December 6, 2019. (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI / AFP) (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI/AFP via Getty Images)

Following Victor Osimhen’s record move from Lille to Napoli today, Friday 31st, July 2020, Afroballers takes you through some of the biggest transfer fees paid out for African footballers

5# Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – £56 million from Leicester City to Manchester City

On January 2018, Aubameyang signed for Arsenal, for a then-club-record fee, reported to be £56 million. His move can after 5 seasons with Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund, where he scored 144 goals in 213 matches.

The Central African hitman wasted little time demonstrating his quality under Arsene Wenger, and then Unai Emery, even though he wasn’t always been an undisputed starter under the latter.

Predictably, the goals have flown, with Auba sharing the Premier League’s Golden Boot with Mane and Salah last term.

4# Riyad Mahrez – £60 million from Leicester City to Manchester City

Manchester City signed Mahrez for £60 million in 2018, finally ending the Algeria international’s extended wait to exit Leicester City. Mahrez was instrumental in Leicester’s Premier League triumph in 2016.

With clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester city salivating for the Algerian’s signature, Leicester were not willing to sell their Star player below asking price. It resulted Mahrez abstaining training in order to force his transfer to Manchester city in 2018. His £60 million move made him the most expensive African player at the time.

Mahrez hasn’t always found the going easy at the Etihad Stadium, where he’s occasionally struggled for playing time under Pep Guardiola.

3# Cedric Bakambu – £65 million from Villareal to Beijing Guoan

DR Congo forward Cedric Bukambu signed for Chinese club Beijing Guoan for £65 million in 2018 after he scored 15 goals for Villarreal during the 2017-18 season.

Bukambu is not only the second most expensive African player but also the best paid in the continent.
He earns £307,000 weekly.

2# Nicolas Pepe – £72 million from Lille to Arsenal

Nicolas Pepe

The Ivorian winger became Africa’s most expensive player last summer when Arsenal signed him from French club LOSC Lille. Pepe registered 35 goals in 74 matches for Ligue 1 club Lille in the 2018/19 season.

It was premier league giants Arsenal who moved in for the player, agreeing to pay for £72 million making the Ivorian the most expensive African player.

Arsenal fans were desperate for Pepe to emulate Eden Hazard, LOSC’s finest import to the Premier League, rather than his compatriot Gervinho, although to date, Pepe has only shown his quality in glimpses in the top flight.

1# Victor Osimhen – £76 million from Lille to Arsenal

Nigeria forward Victor Osimhen has signed for Serie A side Napoli from French outfit Lille, the two clubs announced on Friday. Neither club officially gave details of the transfer, but a source from Lille who was familiar with the transfer told AFP that the Ligue 1 team would receive 76 million pounds ($82.8 million) with add-ons potentially worth 10 million euros.

Italian media report however that Napoli have shelled out 50 million euros before add-ons. Either figure would be a club record transfer fee paid by Napoli.

Osimhen, 21, scored 18 times last season and was one of the revelations of France’s curtailed campaign.

Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is the lead Combat Sports writer for AfroBallers. He is an expert in Boxing, Mixed Martial Art and Wrestling reportage. Isaac is a journalist with newfound love for athlete management and digital media.

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