5 Ghanaian players who excelled in the English Premier League
Several Ghanaian players have had the opportunity to play in arguably the best League in the world, the English Premier League.
Described by many as the most competitive league in the world, not many players have been able to make a name in that region with regards to the game.
Players like Micheal Essien, Tony Yeboah, John Painstil, Richard Kingston, Derrick Boateng among others have tasted the EPL, but not all were able to make a mark there.
Many players like Daniel Amartey, Jeffrey Schlupp, Christian Atsu and the Ayew brothers are currently in the English League and are making positive impacts in their respective clubs but they are a bit short of been considered hits in the League unlike some of their predecessors.
Here is a list of 5 Ghanaian players who were a hit in the English Premier League.
1. Tony Yeboah
Tony Yeboah nicknamed ‘Yegola” joined English club Leeds United from Eintracht Frankfurt for £3.4 million in January 1995.
In his second season at Elland Road he was voted Player of the Year.
Yeboah scored a total of 32 goals for Leeds United in 66 appearances, and is still revered as a cult hero for the Yorkshire club due to a series of memorable goals he scored.
Tony Yeboah was a regular feature in Goal of the Month in the Premier League.
His volley against Liverpool is perhaps his most memorable goal.
Yeboah was the only player ever to win successive BBC Match of the Day Goal of the Month competitions, doing so in September and October 1995.
His hat-trick against Ipswich in 1995 made him the first foreign player to score a league hat-trick for Leeds. Yeaboah has retired from the game.
2. Michael Essien
On 14 August 2005, Chelsea signed Micheal Essien for £24.4 million from Lyon in France.
Nicknamed the “Bison” for his strength, he will go down as one of the best midfielders the club ever had.
Being nominated for the FIFA World Player of the Year and Ballon d’Or awards three years in a row illustrate just how good Michael Essien was at the peak of his powers.
Essien helped Chelsea to win 2 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups, 1 League Cup a Community Shield and one UEFA Champions League.
He made 256 appearances for Chelsea scoring 25 goals.
He scored a stunner against Arsenal in 2006 in an English Premier League game that ended 1-1 at Stamford bridge.
Essien now plies his trade in the Indonesia Super League with Persib Bandung.
3. Asamoah Gyan
Black Stars captain Asamoah Gyan a.k.a “Baby Jet” due his enormous pace, was signed by Sunderland in 2010 from French side Rennes for £13 million.
He scored on his Sunderland debut against Wigan Athletic on 11 September after coming on as a substitute for Danny Welbeck.
He marked his first start for Sunderland by netting their only goal in their League Cup exit at the hands of West Ham United.
Gyan scored twice on his first Premier League start for the club in a 2–0 win against Stoke City on 6 November.
He finished his debut season in England as the club’s joint-highest scorer with eleven goals in all competitions, with his performances catching the eye of a number of clubs across the world.
Gyan is currently with Turkish side Kayserispor.
4. Sulley Muntari
Sulley Muntari joined Portsmouth from Udinese in 2007 for a fee of around £7.1 million.
He was a regular member of the first XI throughout the 2007–08 season, playing 29 League matches and scoring four goals.
His performance of note was away at Aston Villa where he scored two spectacular long-range goals.
He also played four FA Cup matches, scoring the winner from the penalty spot in a 1–0 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Sixth Round of the FA Cup.
He was in the starting XI that won the 2008 FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium over Cardiff City.
Sulley Muntari 33, currently plays for Spanish side Deportivo de La Coruña.
Had a spell at Tottenham Hotspur in 2007 but his success at the club was limited and he was loaned out to Borussia Dortmund in January 2009 for the remainder of the season.
Portsmouth signed Boateng on a three-year contract in August 2009 for a reported fee of around £4 million.
On 12 September 2009, he scored his first goal for the club against Bolton Wanderers, and was named Portsmouth’s joint Player of the Month.
He finished his only season at the club with three goals in 22 Premier League games as they were relegated amidst financial disarray.
Read also:10 Ghanaian Football Legends who sold Ghana to the world
In May 2010, Portsmouth played Chelsea in the FA Cup Final, which Chelsea won 1–0.Boateng featured in that game.
Kevin-Prince Boateng is back in Germany with Eintracht Frankfurt after signing a three-year deal in 2017.