There is a new record holder for the transfer of an African footballer anywhere in the world. Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen’s club-record $94m move to Napoli catapults him into the list of most expensive African footballers of all-time.
The continent has produced some of the finest players in European football in recent years. African talents continue to make their way to the world’s leading clubs, often for huge sums in the ever-increasing world of football finances. nHere are the five most expensive African footballers of all-time
Serie A side Napoli on July 31st announced the signing of Nigerian international forward Victor Osimhen from Lille. From then on, Victor became the most expensive African player of all time. He cost the Italians €81.3m including bonuses, according to L’Équipe. The base fee is €71.2m plus €10.1m in guaranteed bonuses. Their initial formal offer arrived to Lille on the 20th of July at 10:00. This happened the morning after the player had undergone a medical with Napoli in Rome two days earlier. The eventual total fee will take the deal to €81.3m, which eclipses the sale of Nicolas Pépé to Arsenal last summer for €80m.
In 2019, Arsenal signed Nicolas Pepe from Lille in a £72 million ($87m) deal. The Ivory Coast international, becomes the club’s fourth signing of the transfer window and the deal smashed the club’s transfer record. This record was previously set by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s £56m ($68m) move from Borussia Dortmund in 2018. The 24-year-old had emerged as the Gunners’ primary target after hitting 23 goals in 41 games for the Ligue 1 side last season – his 22 league goals leaving him behind only Kylian Mbappe in the scoring charts.
Beijing Guoan completed an unbelievable record move to sign Villarreal forward Cedric Bakambu for £65m. The DR Congo international penned a four-year deal with the Chinese Super League and was presented as a Guoan player. The 26-year-old also agreed a long-term contract worth a reported £307,000 a week, despite interest from Tottenham, Newcastle, West Brom and West Ham.
Beijing Guoan agreed to meet his £35m release clause – and pay another £30m in taxes to their country’s football association. The Chinese FA introduced the shock rule in May 2017 in a bid to stop the huge influx of foreign stars and promote their own young players.
On 10 July 2018, Manchester City confirmed the signing of Mahrez on a five-year contract. The transfer fee was put at £60m and was a record transfer fee received by Leicester City. The French-Algerian had signed for Leicester from Ligue 2 Le Havre for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around £400,000.
On 31 January 2018, Aubameyang signed for Premier League club, Arsenal, for a then-club-record fee, reported to be £56 million. According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal agreed to pay a club record fee of £55.4m for Aubameyang. Their previous record transfer was Alexandre Lacazette, who signed for £52m last summer from Lyon. Arsenal have reportedly offered Aubameyang a three-and-a-half year deal worth £180,000 per week.