Victor Osimhen is the second most expensive African footballer of all time, after only Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
We’ve seen football clubs pay exorbitant fees to sign the world’s greatest players throughout the years. Since the introduction of transfer fees in 1983, the fees paid by clubs to recruit players have risen.
The earliest reported transfer price was £118, paid by Aston Villa for the signing of Willie Groves from West Brom in 1893. The most expensive transfer fee almost a century later is the £199.8 million paid by PSG to sign Neymar from Barcelona in 2017.
African players were not left out at this time. After signing PSG for £11.16 million in 1998, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha became Africa’s most expensive player and one of the most expensive in the world.
However, other African players have since been bought for more than that sum. As a result, Pulse Sports Nigeria has compiled a list of the top ten most expensive African football players in history.
10 Sadio Mane (£37.08m) – Southampton to Liverpool
Mane recently joined Bayern Munich for £28.8 million, but he previously spent six years with Liverpool. Mane moved from Southampton to Liverpool in 2016 for £37.08 million, making him the seventh most expensive African player.
While it appeared to be a large fee at the time, it turned out to be a steal in light of what he accomplished with the club.
Mane won every trophy with Liverpool before leaving this summer, playing a major role and scoring over 100 goals.
9 Mohamed Salah (37.8 million pounds) – AS Roma to Liverpool
Salah may be the most valuable African player right now, but he came to Liverpool for less.
The Egyptian joined Liverpool from AS Roma in 2017 for £37.80 million, which seemed like a crazy amount given Salah’s failure at Chelsea.
However, it was an unbelievable steal for Liverpool, exactly like Mane’s signing. The former Fiorentina player has more than justified the Reds’ fee for his services.
Salah has been Liverpool’s best player since his arrival, finishing as the club’s top scorer every season. He recently renewed his long-term contract with the club.
8 Thomas Partey (£45m) – Atletico Madrid to Arsenal
Following his move from Atletico Madrid to Arsenal two summers ago, Partey ranks seventh on the list of the most expensive African players. After seven years in Spain, the Ghanaian international joined Arsenal for £45 million in 2020.
However, Partey is yet to fully justify his price tag, with injuries hampering his time at the club.
8 Sebastien Haller (£45m) – Eintracht Frankfurt to West Ham
Sebastien Haller of the Ivory Coast is tied for seventh place. Haller joined West Ham from Eintracht Frankfurt in 2019 with high hopes. The Hammers paid £45 million for the 28-year-old.
However, the move did not work out, and Haller quit after only two years. He regained his form with Ajax before joining Borussia Dortmund.
6 Naby Keita (£54m) RB Leipzig to Liverpool
Keita joined Liverpool in 2018 for big money. The Reds signed the Guinean for £54m from RB Leipzig
While Keita has contributed to Liverpool’s recent success, his status as one of the most expensive African players has not been justified owing to persistent injuries with the Merseyside club.
5 Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang – Borussia Dortmund to Arsenal (£57.38m)
Arsenal is liable for three of the fees on this list, including the one that brought Aubameyang to the club. Aubameyang joined Arsenal in January 2018 from Borussia Dortmund for a then-club-record fee of £57.38 million.
Aubameyang was a success at Arsenal, but the most expensive Gabonese player in history left in January for FC Barcelona after falling out with Mikel Arteta.
4 Achraf Hakimi (£59.85m) – PSG to Inter Milan
Hakimi’s transfer from Inter Milan to PSG in 2021 places him fourth on the list.
The Moroccan international joined the French champions for a fee of £59.85 million. He is the list’s sole defender.
Riyad Mahrez (£61.02m) – Leicester City to Manchester City
Mahrez joined Manchester City after helping Leicester City to a remarkable Premier League title in 2016. Despite spending one more season with the Foxes, Mahrez left in 2018 to join Manchester City for £61.02 million, making him the third most expensive African player.
2 Victor Osimhen (£67.5m) Lille to Napoli
In 2020, Napoli paid £67.5m to bring Osimhen from Lille. Osimhen had joined Lille a season earlier from Royal Charleroi. But he left the French Club for Napoli after scoring 18 goals in all competitions
Osimhen’s career in Naples has been up and down, but he had a strong year last season, scoring 18 goals for the team. Another transfer for the Lagos-born striker is expected to break the record for the most expensive African football transfer.
1 Nicolas Pepe (£72 million)- Lille to Arsenal
Pepe is the most expensive African player, having signed a contract with Arsenal in 2019. The Gunners paid £72 million for the Ivory Coast international from Lille, who sold him just before they signed Osimhen.