Premier League: Salah goals, Mahrez assists and other African storylines in 2022-23

Mohamed Salah celebrates for Liverpool
Mohamed Salah wins third Premier League Golden Boot last season after scoring 23 goals

The new Premier League season kicks off on Friday with Manchester City looking to defend the title they won in May after a one-point victory over arch-rivals Liverpool.

Egypt’s Mohamed Salah joins Tottenham’s Son Heung-min as joint top scorer with 20 goals, and as always, deserves attention – as are a handful of newcomers.

With Senegal star Sadio Mane leaving England for Germany, which Africans are best suited to his big shoes?


As the 31st Premier League season begins, all eyes will be on the league’s top African goalscorer – and biggest star – Salah, who has scored 120 goals and will be looking to extend him An impressive record, perhaps to the point of being unsurpassed.

Only two other Africans have more than a century of Premier League goals, but Mane (111) now plays for Bayern Munich, while Chelsea legend Didier Drogba (104) retired four years ago.

Salah will overtake Reds great Steven Gerrard when he scores his first league goal of the season and could be in front of the Premier League goalscorer if he scores more than 30 points for the first time since 2018 10 (and surpassed Michael Owen’s 150).

After winning three league top scorer awards since 2017, Liverpool have won the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League and Club World Cup, two-time CFA and BBC African Footballer of the Year, keen to add to club and individual honours .


Manchester City celebrate their 2022 Premier League title
Riyad Mahrez (right) could become the African player with the most titles in Premier League history this season

Manchester City’s Algeria star Riyad Mahrez is chasing two personal records after leveling with Didier Drogba last season.

A second African – after Ivorian Yaya Toure – to win the Premier League at two different clubs, he now hopes to become the continent’s most successful man with a fifth title.

He is also expected to be the assists leader in the African Premier League with 51, while Drogba – the only player before him – registered 55.

Chelsea’s Senegalese goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has once again been impressive between positions at club and international level, while also taking home the 2021 FIFA Best Men’s Goalkeeper Award.

Now in his third season, the 30-year-old African champion will be looking to add 30 clean sheets to the league as the Blues chase domestic and European success.


Kalidou Coulibaly

The quiet activity in the transfer window means only a handful of African players have arrived in England from the continent.

Six years after a failed first attempt to bring him to England, Senegal captain Kali Dokoulibaly has finally joined compatriot Mendy at six-time champions Chelsea.

Considered one of the best centre-backs in the world, Koulibaly signed a four-year contract after leaving Serie A side Napoli and is the continent’s top player.

“I’m going to have to get used to everything because it’s faster [in England]” 31 years old said Wednesday.

“I definitely need time because I can’t be the first game player everyone wants. I’ll take it slow and in two or three months I’ll be the guy everyone’s been waiting for.”

Elsewhere, Mali midfielder Yves Bissouma is worth £25m (plus add-ons) after impressing Brighton with goals, passing and all-around play terms) to join Tottenham Hotspur on a four-year contract.

Compatriot Cheick Doucoure has joined Crystal Palace from Ligue 1 side Lens on a five-year deal, while Morocco’s Nayed Aguerd leaves Rennes joined West Ham but the 26-year-old will miss the start of the season after suffering an ankle injury in a friendly. Against the Rangers.


Sheikh Dukur and Joe Aribo
Mali’s Shayk Dukur and Nigeria’s Joe Aribo to make Premier League debuts

Nigeria’s Taiwo Awoniyi believes he will come to newly-promoted Nottingham Forest Will attract fans from Africa’s most populous country to the club.

The 24-year-old striker, who scored 20 goals in 43 games in all competitions last season, joined Forest from Germany’s Union Berlin in June for a club-record fee.

“It’s a big opportunity for my career,” he told BBC Sport Africa. “The hard work starts now and I can’t wait to get started.”

Southampton have signed compatriot Joe Aribo to a four-year deal from Rangers, and a player who played in last season’s Europa League final has shown what he can do.

“The pre-season goal was good, but it’s just pre-season and I just want to focus on what’s ahead,” he told BBC Sport Africa.

The 25-year-old Super Eagle’s joining fee is reported to be around £6m, rising to £10m with add-ons.

breakout season

Nigeria international Alex Iwobi is running out of time at Everton, joining the Toffees from boyhood Arsenal in 2019 but failing to really cement himself at the club under four managers position in the starting lineup.

Iwobi, 26, told BBC Africa Sports: “Last season was a difficult one, but I’m sure things will be better this season.”

Meanwhile, Tunisian teenager Hannibal Mejbri said he was “ready to risk everything to succeed at Manchester United”.

After arriving from French club Monaco in 2019, the 19-year-old made just three league appearances for Manchester United but 16 for the Carthage Eagles and is eager to join new manager Eric Ten Haag’s first team team plan.

“I need to work hard,” he told Pro-Direct Soccer France recently.

“I’m not here for nothing, and my CV doesn’t say: ‘I play for Manchester United’, I’m here to prove to the world that a young man from Paris, from the neighbourhood, can come and impose himself .”

The surprise winner of the Caf Young Player of the Year award, Pape Matar Sarr has finally been linked with Tottenham Hotspur.

Pope Matarsal of Senegal and Tottenham
Pape Matar Sarr was recently named Caf Young Player of the Year

The 19-year-old defensive midfielder joined Tottenham last year but has been on loan at Metz this season to continue his development.

Despite a few pre-season appearances, Sarr has been linked with another loan move from north London.

He made eight appearances, including the African Cup of Nations in January, which Senegal won for the first time in their history.


Veteran Ivorian defender Eric Bailly is expected to leave the club before the end of the current transfer window, leaving his injury time at Manchester United behind.

He has been linked with a move to another Premier League team, but he is also reported to be favoured by clubs in Italy, Spain and France.

Elsewhere, Ivorian winger Simon Adingra joined Brighton from Danish side Nordsjælland, but the Seagulls loaned him to Belgian club Union SG for a season.

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