The English Premier League is regarded as one of the biggest leagues in the world and the fans have been privileged to experience some spectacular talent since its inception back in 1992.
Futaa takes a look at some of the Ghanaian players who made their mark in the Premier League with their respective talents.
One of the top Ghanaian players of his era, one could say he paved the way for his fellow natives during his spell with Leeds United, the club that is still celebrating his career to date.
Most fans may not remember that in 1990, he became the first African player to be signed by Eintracht Frankfurt, and went on to become the first African captain in the Bundesliga despite having being subjected to racial abuse. His talent spoke for itself and his goalscoring abilities helped to silence the critics.
However, Leeds United is where his name became known. He was signed to the club in the Autumn of 1995 from Eintracht Frankfurt where he was known to the English fans and you would expect him to take a while to adapt to the style of play because interestingly enough he was voted Player of the Year in his second season at the club.
Yeboah had the thighs of a rugby player but somehow it worked for him because he became a deadly striker - strong-running, sharp with a clinical finish. He also had the capacity to stop time and demand the world to watch and rightfully so when he had the ball.
Here is proof as to why he became the cult hero with his goalscoring form and 1995 really was the year for the Leeds legend. Goals against West Ham United, Liverpool and Monaco are some of his most memorable goals that can still give fans the chills when they look back at his career.
- West Ham - August 19, 1995
FORGOTTEN GOAL: Tony Yeboah at Upton Park from this weekend in 1995.— Proper Football (@sid_lambert) August 18, 2019
What a shitpinger that is. Right off the laces. pic.twitter.com/jjqjSDx4xr
- Liverpool - August 21, 1995
- Monaco - September 12, 1995
FORGOTTEN GOAL: 24 years ago today Tony Yeboah continued his personal crusade against tap-ins by scoring this pinger (for his hat-trick) vs Monaco.— Proper Football (@sid_lambert) September 12, 2019
He was fucking unreal, wasn’t he?pic.twitter.com/8kHIxupsNg
Michael Essien (Chelsea)
Some fans may say that Essien was the most complete Ghanaian export of all. The goals, the engine, the versatility and that was done with passion and the biggest smile - even if one wasn't a fan of Chelsea, you could found yourself being fond of the Ghanaian.
He was nicknamed The Bison by being a utility man for his team - a ballplayer with the energy to get from box-to-box and make decisive contributions - he may have not scored as many (17 goals from 168 appearances) but he was the player of importance as he became the engine behind Chelsea's domestic success between 2005 and 2010 - this earned him the tag of ‘love to have him in my team’ kind of player.
Looking back at his career, you could easily why Essien won many accolades as he did but his most prominent individual awards with Chelsea were:
- 2006 BBC African Footballer of the Year
- 2006/7 Chelsea Player of the Year
- 2006/7 Chelsea Goal of the Year vs Arsenal
- 2008/9 Chelsea Goal of the Year vs Barcelona
Essien Chelsea goal vs Arsenal
Essien Chelsea goal vs Barcelona
Sulley Muntari (Portsmouth)
Muntari has been one decorated player, most prominent in Italy but for a long time he had expressed his desire to play in the Premier League and he got his chance when he got signed to Portsmouth after plying his trade for Udinese.
Known for having power and having pace on the left, he knew how to study his opponents and he would create chances and convert them into some powerful strikes. He made 29 appearances for Portsmouth and scored four goals but one memorable performance was that against Aston Villa where he scored two mouthwatering long-range goals.
He also had a brief stint with Sunderland when he was shipped out on loan from Inter where he made nine appearances and he eventually went back to Inter.
Muntari's talent was perhaps not celebrated enough during his time in the Premier League and one could say his career was unfulfilled but he can't be faulted for his performances in Italy where he has enjoyed some success.
The two sensational goals against Aston Villa:
Asamoah Gyan (Sunderland)
Gyan can ideally be that one Ghanaian player who achieved so much yet so little in the Premier League. A controversial player who is has not been afraid to speak his mind, however, he has let his talent on the pitch do more of the talking - a clinical striker.
Sunderland signed Gyan in a club-record fee of £13 million where he was to make 36 appearances and score 11 goals respectively.
Baby Jet as he has been fondly known throughout his career was certainly a powerful sprinter in his youth which he will be remembered by when he eventually hangs up his boots. He has been able to turn defenders with his speed and strength; excelling in a lone attacker's role and linking up with runners from deep. Ideally, there's no doubt why he wone the 2010 BBC African Player of the Year for his impressive exploits.
However, Gyan has always spoken about sharpening his finishing as this was often criticised in his career and sometimes lacking composure in front of goal.
On the other hand, during his time at Sunderland, his calmness in taking opportunities and converting them always turned fruitful due to his endless supply of energy.
Gyan is one player the world should have seen more of in the Premier League, he even expressed his desire to return to Sunderland despite having left due to money, according to reports at the time.