Manchester City otherwise known as ”Man City” recently closed a deal with Swansea, signing in Wilfried Bony for over 25 million pounds. This has seen Bony become the most expensive African footballer to be signed in a Western team. However, he is not the first player of African descent to make news in the realm of football. The following is a list compiling 5 most expensive African footballers’ club transfer signings starting from Bony:
1. Wilfried Bony, Swansea to Man City (2015)
£25m rising to £28m
This talented Ivory Coast striker is currently the most expensive African player after joining Man City from Swansea in a deal that could be worth up to 28 million pounds. The club completed the signing of this 26-year-old player on 14th of January 2015 for a four and a half-year deal. Having been ranked as the Premium League top scorer in 2014 with twenty goals, Swansea and Man City agreed the terms of his transfer at the weekend, with 25 million pounds cash paid up front by Man City. The club pledged a further three million pounds based on Bony’s performance. However, the player is currently on international duty with his native country at the African Cup of Nations, which might oblige him to wait until mid-February before he can make his debut.
2. Emmanuel Adebayo, Arsenal to Man City (2009) – £25m
In 2009, Adebayo joined Man City from Arsenal after signing a five-year deal for a whopping 25 million pounds. His move is the second most expensive African Footballers’ club transfer signings. The tall, skilful, strong in the air Togolese striker showcased his scoring ability with Arsenal over three seasons as from 2006 to 2009 at the time when Man City were in a transition process, earning him a spot in the team. During his contract with Man City, Adebayo maintained high level of performance, scoring a sensational number of goals for the team, which he later left for Tottenham.
3. Michael Essien, Lyon to Chelsea (2005) – £24.4m
In August 2014, Michael Essien completed a 24.4 million pound transfer from the French club Lyon to Chelsea. This is the third most expensive African Footballers’ club transfer signings, which ranked him as the most expensive African footballer in history during that time. At his new club, this gifted box-to-box midfielder helped the team win the Premier League in 2006 and then again in 2010.It was also during his contract in the club that Chelsea was able to win three FA Cups as well as one FL Cup. Essien’s achievements in Chelsea include being nominated for 2006 FIFA World Player of the Year Award where he ranked 22nd, being voted as the third Best African Footballer of the Year in the same year. In 2007, Chelsea fans voted Essien as Chelsea Player of the Year because of his contributions in the 2006-07 seasons thereby becoming the first African to receive the honour.
4. Yaya Toure, Barcelona to Man City (2010) – £24m
After spending three years in Barcelona only to be told he was a surplus to the requirements of the club, the brawny Ivorian midfielder decided to abandon Barcelona for Man City on a four-year 24 million pound deal. This is the fourth most expensive African footballers’ transfer signings that have been made in history. Toure is still playing for Man City and has made so many accomplishments at the club. Outside the club, he is also the first player to be named African Footballer of the Year four years in a row. This ambitious Ivory Coast national continues to shine brightest at the international frontier.
5. Didier Drogba, Marseille to Chelsea (2004) – £24m
Didier Drogba is a household name. His move to Chelsea in 2004 became one of the 5 most expensive African footballers’ club transfer signings. This talented striker left Marseille for Chelsea on a 24 million pound five-year contract, which was to be later extended to 2012 before leaving for a small Chinese club called Shanghai Shenhua. During his term at Chelsea, this all-time top scorer made so many achievements including earning a legendary status with the Blues and helping the team to win 11 titles including a Champions League trophy in 2012 and 3 Premier League awards. Drogba returned to Chelsea last year after signing a one year contract and continues to make for a great striker up to date.