Top 10 most expensive African transfers in football history

Karim Farouk , Wednesday 14 Jan 2015

A list of Africa's most expensive transfers that is led now by Ivorian striker Wilfried Bony who joined Manchester City for £28 million in January 2015

Wilfried Bony, Emmanuel Adebayor, Michael Essien, Didier Drogba
From left to right: Wilfried Bony, Emmanuel Adebayor, Michael Essien and Didier Drogba

Wilfried Bony (£28m)

 Wilfried Bony
Swansea City's Wilfried Bony celebrates scoring his second goal against Leicester City during their English Premier League soccer match at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea, Wales, October 25, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony became Africa's most expensive player after joining Manchester City for £28m, arriving from Swansea in January 2015. The athletic goalscoring machine has been in a terrific form in the past year, having finished as the Premier League's top scorer of the calendar year of 2014 with 20 goals.

Emmanuel Adebayor (£25m)

Emmanuel Adebayor
Manchester City's Emmanuel Adebayor could miss the weekend game against Aston Villa (Photo: Reuters)

The towering Togolese striker demonstrated his scoring abilities with Arsenal over 3 seasons, from 2006 to 2009. Manchester City, who were in a rebuilding process at the time, signed the 'New Kanu' from their rivals for £25m in the summer of 2009.

Michael Essien (£24.4)

Michael Essien
Chelsea's Michael Essien celebrates scoring against APOEL Nicosia during their Champions League soccer match at Stamford Bridge in London December 8, 2009 (Photo: Reuters)

Chelsea completed a swoop for Ghana's midfielder Michael Essien for what was a club record fee of £24.4 in the summer of 2005. Coach Jose Mourinho and the Blues were in his pursuit all over the summer and had several bids turned down, until Lyon finally accepted the aforementioned fee.

Didier Drogba (£24m)

Didier Drogba
Didier Drogba scores for Chelsea in 2005 (Photo: Reuters)

After being named the French Ligue 1 Player of the Year in 2004, Drogba left Marseille for Chelsea for a then club record fee of £24 million. The Ivorian striker earned a legendary status with the Blues, helping them to 11 titles including a Champions League trophy in 2012 and three Premier League accolades.

Yaya Toure (£24m)

Yaya Toure
Yaya Toure (Photo: Reuters)

After spending three seasons at Barcelona, the burly Ivorian midfielder decided to leave the Catalans as he didn’t fit in their scheme. In the summer of 2010, Manchester City splashed £24 million to sign him on a five-year deal.

Samuel Eto'o (£21.8m)

Samuel Eto'o is relishing the chance to make history with Inter Milan (Photo: Reuters)

In August 2011, Cameroon star Samuel Eto’o made a stunning move to big-spending Russian side Anzhi from Italian giants Inter Milan. Anzhi paid the Nerrazzuri a reported fee of £21.8 million and a record annual salary of 20 million euros for the player, making him the highest paid footballer in the world at the time.


Mehdi Benatia (£21m)

Mehdi Benatia
AS Roma's Mehdi Benatia celebrates after scoring against Genoa during their Serie A soccer match at Olympic stadium in Rome, January 12, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

The Moroccan defender made his mark in the Serie A with AS Roma to become on top of the wish-list of several big guns. German giants Bayern Munich beat Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal to his signature for a fee of £21 million in August 2014.

Samuel Eto'o  (£18m)

File photo: Anzhi Makhackhala's Samuel Eto'o (Photo: Reuters)

Then Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard, who was desperate to sign a talented striker, was in the hunt to sign Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o, who had a superb stint with Real Mallorca. After lengthy three-way negotiations between Barca, Mallorca and Real Madrid, who co-owned his rights, Eto’o moved to the Catalans for £18 million in 2004.

John Obi Mikel (£16m)

Obi Mikel
Obi Mikel

After a transfer saga between Chelsea, Manchester United and Norwegian club Lyon Oslo, Nigerian midfielder Jon Obi Mikel moved to Stamford Bridge for a deal worth £16m. In June 2006, and after a year of transfer troubles and negotiations, Chelsea settled the matter by paying United £12 and Lyn Oslo £4m for Mikel, who was 19 back then.

Kolo Toure (£14m)

Kolo Toure
File photo: : Kolo Toure likes to be the last player onto the pitch (Photo: Reuters)

In July 2009, Ivorian defender Kolo Toure left Arsenal to join wealthy rivals Manchester City for a fee of £14 million. The solid defender enjoyed a marvelous spell at the Gunners but had a bust up with defensive partner William Gallas, after which he made a request to depart. He also couldn’t turn down a four-year deal worth a weekly salary of £100 000 from the Citizens.

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