Over the years, we have seen football clubs pay over the odds to sign the world’s best players. Since transfer became a thing in 1983, the fees paid by clubs to sign players have been on the rise.
The first transfer fee recorded was £118, which Aston Villa paid for the signing of Willie Groves from West Brom in 1893. Over 100 years later, the most expensive transfer fee is the £199.8m PSG paid to sign Neymar from Barcelona in 2017.
During this time, African players were not left out. In 1998, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha was Africa’s most expensive player and one of the most expensive in the world after joining PSG for £11.16m.
However, several African players have been signed for more than that amount since then. As a result, Pulse Sports Nigeria highlights the most expensive African players in football history.
Sadio Mane (£37.08m) – Southampton to Liverpool
Mane recently joined Bayern Munich for £28.8m, but before signing for the German champions, he spent six years with Liverpool. Mane joined Liverpool from Southampton in 2016 for £37.08m, making him the tenth most expensive African player.
While it looked like a huge fee then, it turned out to be an absolute bargain, considering what he achieved with the club.
Mane won every trophy with Liverpool, playing a key role and scoring over 100 goals before leaving this summer.
Mohamed Salah (£37.8m) – AS Roma to Liverpool
Salah may be the most valuable African player right now, but he arrived at Liverpool at a lower price. The Egyptian joined Liverpool for £37.80m from AS Roma in 2017, which looked like a ridiculous fee, considering Salah flopped at Chelsea.
However, just like Mane’s deal, it was an absolute steal for Liverpool. The ex-Fiorentina player has more than justified the price the Reds paid for his services.
Since arriving, Salah has been Liverpool’s best player, finishing as their top scorer every season. He recently signed a new long-term contract at the club.
Thomas Partey (£45m) – Atletico Madrid to Arsenal
Partey is eighth on the list of the most expensive African players following his move from Atletico Madrid to Arsenal two summers ago.