Ranked worst to best – Every African that played for Arsenal

18 Africans to play for us – ranked worse to best by Dan Smith

There will be no African side in the knock out stages of the World Cup, and it’s looking further away then ever for that part of the world to get to a semi final for the first time. To cheer up fans of Nigeria, Senegal Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, I thought I would reference players from that part of the world who have contributed to the past, present and future of Arsenal FC. 18 different players who represented the gunners played in the Premiership. Let’s rank them from worst to good. Enjoy African gooners !

Kabia Diawara -Guinea 18
When you think how many young gems Arsene Wenger would bring to England in the late 90’s, only natural there would be a few duds. Only employed for 6 months but made a few cameos to squeeze onto this list.

Frimpong -Ghana 17
He was good friends with Jack Wilshire in the youth team, I remember I liked what I saw from Frimpong. Being loaned out was something Arsene Wenger did to season his talent but a bad ACL break at Wolves proved to be a huge setback. Has played in Russia, Sweden and most recently in Cyprus. A free agent, now seeking his 10th new club.

Akpom -Nigeria 16
Played for England’s under age groups but in March 2017 did tell the president of the Nigerian football federation he would be interested in switching. May need to leave Arsenal to have an international career. At numerous loan spells has proved can score at certain level but unlikely to get a chance at Emirates.

Muamba- DR Congo. -15
Played and captained various age groups for England. Having established himself with Bolton was asked numerous times by DR Congo to align himself with them. Sadly will be remembered for a heart attack that ended his career young, as well as the great charity work gaining awareness for the condition.

Traore- Senegal -14
A graduate from our academy who was given every chance to impress. Loan spells were designed to give him first team football. At time he was highly regarded in France. His last game as a gooner was the 8-2 drubbing at Old Trafford, the day before leaving to join QPR. He found his level in the Championship. Realising his limitations he asked to play for his parent’s native country, Senegal.

Quincy Owusy Abeyie -Ghana -13
Frustrating thing with this talent is when you saw him he excited you, Thierry Henry one afternoon was very complimentary. Liam Brady warned us at the time, the youngster needed to add discipline to his skills. Fact he is out of contract and known as a journeyman should tell you how that worked out.

Christopher Wreh- Liberia -12
For a striker who scored only 5 goals in 46 games, it’s crazy this man is a cult hero among gooners. The few goals he got were all vital. As we put together a winning sequence in 1998 most victories were suddenly 1-0 to the Arsenal, meaning Wreh’s contribution was valuable.

Iwobi – Nigeria -11
Some feel harshly judged, others feel given too many chances, both opinions based due to breaking through our youth team. We were told that he’s better for country then club but.. He was dropped by Nigeria after their first game. No confidence in final third and should be sold.

Chamakh- Morroco -10th
Might be hard for fans to think that we battled Liverpool for this man’s services. Can’t be described as a flop as we never paid a transfer fee, perfect when paying off stadium debt. Started well, scoring in 6 consecutive Champions League games. He summed up mentality of that squad at the time, once he lost confidence, he went missing. Not sure he ever refound it?

Gervinho- Ivory Coast -9th
Erratic. When good was unplayable but that happened every 5 games. At another time he would have added more to the club but playing for one of the worst gunner squads of all time. We had too many wingers like Gervinho.. Showed better form at Roma. Currently earning big money in China.

Elneny – Eygypt -8th
Closest we have to a reliable DM A solid squad player who never lets you down. Been rewarded with a new contract and his form was the reason why Coquelin was allowed to leave in January.

Adebayor – Togo -7th
Trust me, I wanted to put him much lower on the list due to the lack of respect he’s shown this club but I have to use head not heart though, so I have to acknowledge his goal to game ratio. One of the few men to have a bad word to say regarding working with Arsene Wenger. It showed when we faced him that he had made enemies with ex teammates and his former fans. If he heard abuse from away fans that’s wrong but he surely must know he has earnt the money he has due to Arsenal giving him the platform. It remains where he’s done his best work.

Aubameyang – Gabon -6th
Can’t rate him higher due to only been playing in this country for 5 months. He has a reputation throughout Europe though as one of the very best strikers. Some question his attitude with his fast cars and fashion sense. So far though so good and at least this time he can play in the Europa League.

Eboue- Ivory Coast -5th
Became a cult hero due to his work rate which maybe wasn’t always matched with talent. Had incredible pace but his final ball often was so bad, it became his gimmick. I always remember he was the one man you could gurantee would stay and thank the fans, often going on a lap of honour.
He’s had hard times in the last couple of years and my prayers are with him.

Song – Cameroon -4th
The closest we had since Gilberto to a proper DM but not always disciplined. Had loan spells which hinted he would leave the Emirates when a young talent. But when given the chance due to injuries, ran with it to become a regular. Left in the same summer as Van persie and hasn’t been replaced. Going to Barcelona must have been heart over head. Too good an opportunity to turn down but never likely to break into their midfield. On loan at West Ham, you sensed he regretted leaving us. Has trained with us while regaining fitness.

Lauren – Cameroon -3rd
A signing which sums up the brilliance of Arsene Wenger but also highlights what our current squad is lacking. Lauren arrived at Highbury as a right/central midfielder. Like he did with many of his players, the Frenchmen had the vision to teach him a whole new position. His boss recognised with his pace, the African would be perfect for what a modern full back was becoming. It was his personality though as well that which made him a legend. Lauren’s strengths are the 2018 Arsenal’s weakness! While he was technical, fast and a good crosser of the ball, he could mix it with being physical, in your face and a fighter. He had everything.

Kanu – Nigeria 2nd
Not a great goal scorer but instead a scorer of great goals. Kanu didn’t score tap ins. He had this unorthodox style which saw him put away chances far harder then the ones he missed. Perhaps underestimated for how he helped his teammates. He had the strength to hold up the ball, would dribble in small areas and had the vision to see space. In his late thirties was still scoring in an FA Cup final for Portsmouth.

Kolo Toure- Ivory Coast -1st
Exemplified everything wonderful about Arsene Wenger. Used his knowledge of the World game to find a raw talent no one had heard of. At first was a versatile member of the squad. Eyebrows were raised in the summer of 2003 when Toure was chosen to play at CB instead of the club buying anyone to partner Sol Campbell. Not just did he learn the role, he started every game of the Invincible season. So the idea Arsene Wenger inherited a good back 4 but could never create his own was some sort of a myth. We could have brought Kolo’s baby brother as well…… He was pretty decent I think?

Dan Smith


  1. snowden says:

    I don’t know that I agree with everything you have said but nevertheless a good read. Thanks.

    1. Naija Jollof says:

      Kanu should be ranked #1

      1. Abel says:

        Classiest African to have played for Arsenal.
        Was diagnosed with a congenital heart condition during his medical while signing for Inter-milan from Ajax (he had won the champions league with Ajax) after a Gold medal winning Olympic campaign at Atlanta 96.
        Did undergo a successful heart surgery and pick up where he left off. Before having a brilliant career . Arsenal.

  2. Shortboygooner says:

    Good article cant argue on most accounts. I would switch eboue and adeybayor. In terms of talen eboue was off the pace a little compared to abeybayor who is arguably one of the best strikers arsenal has had. If he had stayed hinself and van persi would have been a lethal combo. Eboue on the other hand gave the team a great senae of family and cohesion. I hope we get some players like that with a strong friendly funny personality coming through.

    1. gotanidea says:

      Yes, imagine if we had the peak Adebayor as the target man, Van Persie as the wide forward and Eboue as the right winger. They all are talented footballers, but lack the motivation

  3. gotanidea says:

    Good list, but I would put Adebayor as the 6th and Aubameyang as the 7th

    Aubameyang has not proven anything yet, because he just joined. Whereas Adebayor was very good (with fluctuative performances) in several seasons

    Had Adebayor not done stupid things and improved his work ethic, he would have been Henry’s perfect replacement. I read that Adebayor, Song and Eboue regretted moving away from Arsenal

    1. Innit says:

      Aubameyang is tons better than Adebayor

      1. Freethinker says:

        Auba is faster than Adebayor. That’s it. In other aspects they’re similar or Ade was better. His skill was definitely better.

        BUT, the extra speed can be at least 5, sometime even 10 goals extra.

        We’ll have to wait and see.

  4. Dmach12 says:

    Good article. Lots of good memories from these players. Suprised lord bentner is not on this list.


      Hehe as an African player ? I guess Lord Bendtner deserves to be in any ranking lol

  5. Innit says:

    Good read.
    Please do a list of the worst to best Asian players next

  6. Knight says:

    I wouldnt put Song ahead of Eboue who took Arsenal to a Champions league final.

  7. Sue says:

    Gervinho’s forehead?! ?

    1. Freethinker says:

      True, Sue.

      Gervinho’s forehead was bigger than god himself.

  8. Lars jensen says:


  9. Uchman says:

    before the arrival of wenger no African player has ever played for afc before, no wonder arsenal FC become the toast of fans in Africa, the great support afc is enjoying in Africa and the world @ large is very very immense, am saying it without any apology that without weger afc could have bn like as on villa Newcastle and Leeds United!

    1. Phil says:

      So that’s one thing we can be grateful to Wenger got Then is it?

      1. Phil says:

        That should have read that’s one thing we can be grateful to Wenger for is it??

  10. Phil says:

    Kilo Toure was so overated.He was made to look far far better than he was by an imperious Sol Campbell followed by William Gallas.When we somehow Mugged off Citeh for £16m for him he was supposed to be their main CB but he was soon found out to be nothing more than ordinary .
    A very average player at best who should never be considered more than this

  11. jon fox says:

    Dan Smith, Since you are not racist , presumably ,( he added , doubtfully!!!) you will surely next offer us a similar list of all Europeans who have ever played for us, all Americans, both North and South, Asians, Australians too? But don’t stop there please! Why not analyse all players with black hair, blond hair, brown hair, red hair(clue: Freddie Ljungberg is the only contender in this category with true RED , not ginger or auburn hair). How about left handed players too? The stupidity of an analysis of players by continent or ANY OTHER CATEGORY, save position or fee paid, is unthinking beyond belief. Some might also say, RACIST! What do YOU think Mr. Admiin? I know what I think.

    1. DAN says:

      Actually will be doing similar article on Asian and South American players
      This’article was inspired by Africa having a poor World Cup
      I wanted to celebrate their contribution to Arsenal FC
      Also fun for me to research , use my knowledge
      Europe wouldn’t be hard would it
      Jon Fox, I write about England mostly , is that racist . Sorry that an article about Africans made you blush

      1. jon fox says:

        Dan, I don’t even know how to begin when disagreeing with you. If you DON’T KNOW WHY separating people by nation , race, colour or any other non directly football related category is unthinking , then you are beyond helping. Your crass and silly comment about writing mostly about English players misses the whole point entirely. Why don’t you post your article on Facebook and see what you get called then, since you doubt me? Also you claim “Europe would’nt be hard would it”. Actually Dan, it would involve far more Arsenal players from past and present but would be equally pointless. Why not INSTEAD, rank Arsenal players by team positon, by fee paid for them (if applicable) length of service or importance to the team(era) they played in? Is that too boring for you? Shame you have not wider vision as you contribute on here so often. Please remember too that for every person who challenges your thinking , as I have done and who says so, there will be many more times that number who silently disapprove but who think the less of you. A more thinking and reflective man would accept my comments and reconsider but you choose not to. I therefore draw my own conclusions about your thinking, as will others too, , or lack of it.

        1. Admin says:

          From what I see most Africans enjoyed the post and none mentioned racism. If you Jon want to write a post about Europeans price or vegetarians that played for us I will be happy to post it…

          1. Sheet Head says:

            Admin, the jon fox guy is too old to enjoy a great read! The article is great!

          2. Angus says:

            Jon likes arguing saddest part is he clearly has a brain without the arrogance he would probably be one of the most interesting posters on the site but he’s single minded. Shame.

          3. Admin says:

            Nah you just you just have to accept he likes an argument and even better, challenge him, that’s what we are here for….

          4. jon fox says:

            Admin , I stand by every word I said, though many differ, as all are fully entitled to do. I am particualarly disappointed that you personally chose to, albeit inadvertantly perhaps, insult me by asking me to ontribute precisely the sort of article I object to; ie Europeans or vegetarians, which is merely taunting me for having a different opinion. You are better than that, I know and I forgive your slight on me.

          5. Admin says:

            Really and lol. I have had a few drinks as I do, but did you just say you object to Europeans and vegetarians??

          6. jon fox says:

            What I object to is any humans , let alone footballers being categorised by nationality, continent or country they come from and any other silly, unimportant fake category that some think important. For footballers we might have at Arsenal , ALL that matters is have they the talent to play for us at top level and the desire to work full out every time they play. Fake differences and categorising people by continent is foolish in the extreme and fails to realise what IS IMPORTANT,while making great play of what IS NOT IMPORTANT, in the slightest. I merely used Europeans and vegetarians as an example of what does NOT matter. It has clearly confused you . Must be the drinks you have had.

          7. DAN says:

            Categorising by country -Isn’t that the point of the World Cup ?
            I was watching Sky Sports earlier and they dedicate an hour to promoting women in Sport
            I’m Curious is that allowed or is it just Africans you dont like having own coverage on ?

    2. stubill says:

      If you opened your mind and eyes for a while, you may have noted that Dan wrote an article about a young Nigerian named Etebo, whom he highly praised.

      Before you start calling people racist, you should think what you say.

  12. albo says:

    racist. ‘that part of the world’ is a great great continent. football just isnt our best sport and its ok. wakanda forever. ?

  13. DAN says:

    John Fox
    I think to call me racist is very strong
    Racism is against the law, so do you need to call the police, ‘excuse me officer a man is racist , he’s just written about Africans to play for Arsenal’ See what they say.
    You put in on your facebook and see how in minority you are , which I get is your gimmick to get attention
    I’m not writing worst to best on Europe just because of your insecurities, to many names to cover , it wouldn’t be interesting for the reader. So am I racist now to Europeans lol
    Will be doing South American players ,now is that okay or does that offend you as well.

    1. jon fox says:

      Dan, we are on different human evolvement levels. So no point in further discussions.

      1. Dan smith says:

        I agree
        Just let you no though will be ranking worst to best South Americans ,can you cope with that ?
        What I never understand is if I saw an article i didn’t like, I simply wouldn”t read it.
        Yet alone comment on it.
        Gives the impression you are being in the minority for the sake of attention,
        If that article gets uploaded readers , we assume thar Jon Fox has not called the police !!
        Sad thing is there are people who experience racism daily , you use it as a way to make a debate just to get noticed
        Won’t be giving you anymore of my time
        Will be looking at if your allowed to slander me a racist online though

        1. jon fox says:

          How would you recognise “an article you didn’t like” unless you read it Dan? Not much thought went into THAT remark. I am hardly surprised though. YOU are the one who chose to mention the police and a crime , not me. More evidence of your unthinking predudice, just because I clearly hit a nerve, with my original comment . I have nothing further I wish to discuss with you, so if you want the last word, please go ahead, as I have a life to lead.

  14. DAN says:

    The title kind of says what article is about, you have to click on it to read it lol
    Beware BBC mate , they do African player of the year awards , guess they must be racist as well
    Like I said sorry an article about praising Africans made you blush

  15. JK says:

    My word.

    Jon Fox – you are a dime a dozen on the internet. Almost a caricature of the pseudo-intellectual keyboard snowflake that makes up most of the internets comments sections. You follow the same M.O as the rest….condescending comments throwing wild accusations due to some imagined slight, followed by acting the victim when you get called out and peppering your replies with so much cringeworthy “holier than thou” sentiment that I am quite surprised you were able to see your screen from your lofty heights.

    The article simply ranks African players (as, correctly pointed out, the African Player of the Year does on a yearly occasion), which you took on yourself to immediately (I believe it was within the first sentence) insinuate that the author is a racist. Some of the rest of your statements are so grossly self-important (I.e – “A thinking man would have read my reply and agreed with me immediately, therefore you’re an idiot.” was the basic sentiment of an entire post….”I’m too important to spend my time on here, I shan’t post anymore…toodles.” before replying about 10 minutes later was another…)

    Please. Snowflakery at it’s finest. You added nothing intelligent to the conversation. Recognising that players originate from different parts of the globe isn’t racism. You’re actually watering down the word when you make absolutely ridiculous statements like that. Now, i’m off to go watch the football while spamming the chat that everyone’s a racist for watching a tournament that segregates players by nationality, the utter shithouses.

  16. DAN says:

    Jon Fox , ‘ the stupidity of analysing by category ‘
    In England we have
    Yong player, Africanfootballer of year , Asian , oversees coach of year , oversees sports men of year
    We celebrate black history month
    We even have a day when we categorise mothers and fathers lol Jon Fox this must make you blush
    Now I’m going to watch cool runnings , it celebrates 4 Jamaicans who Bob sleigh
    Probably not your type of film lol

  17. kklin says:

    Mr Jon Fox, I’ve always liked/respected your views & comments on this site but, mehn, am kinda disappointed on this one.

    1. DAN says:

      I’m not even sure he knows his own argument
      Tied himself in a knot lol

  18. Diademking says:

    Jon Fox Really??

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