Africa's shocking shortage of talent at Europe's elite clubs in focus

Victor Moses of Chelsea Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Africa provides a steady stream of footballers to the European game, but a shocking statistic reveals that only a handful are competing at the very highest level on the continent.

At the top 10 clubs in Europe, according to the current UEFA co-efficient rankings, there is a total of only eight players from the African continent in their first-team squads this season.

Beyond that, only a few are playing with any regularity, a statistic that may well need to change if African nations are ever to hope to truly compete on the international stage.

In this feature, KweséESPN breaks down who those eight players among Europe's top teams are:


African players (2): Victor Moses (Nigeria), Baba Rahman (Ghana)

Nigeria international winger Moses has had a fine 12 months at Chelsea, cementing his place in the first team as he played a starring role in them lifting the Premier League title last season.

Left-back Rahman is just coming back from 11 months on the sidelines after an injury he picked up playing for Ghana in the 2017 African Nations Cup finals. The word is that the 23-year-old could be loaned out in January.

Charly Musonda may be added to this list in the future, with the current Belgium U-21 international having been approached again to play for Zambia.


African players (0): None

Benfica have tapped modestly into the African market in the past, though one of the club legends, Eusebio, was born in Mozambique, even if he did end up turning out for Portugal.

There is not a single African currently in their first team, though Benfica B does feature South African midfielder Thabo Cele.

Reserve goalkeeper Bruno Varela has represented Portugal at various youth levels but could yet play for Cape Verde.


African players (0): None

Sevilla are another side with no African players on their books, though one of their star names from the past, Fredi Kanouté, turned out for Mali, even if he was born and raised in France.

They have also previously had the likes of Ivory Coast stalwart Didier Zokora, while current star man Wissam Ben Yedder could yet play for Tunisia after being overlooked by France.


African players (1): Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)

Dortmund's only African star is also one of the continent's biggest, though Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a near certainty to leave the club at the end of the season, if not in the January transfer window.

They do also have young Moroccan centre-back Mohamed El Bouazzati in their reserve side, but he is not yet part of the first-team squad.


African players (0): None

PSG are without any African stars at present, though in the past they have had the likes of Liberian great George Weah, Algerian forward Mustapha Dahleb, Congo striker François M'Pelé, Senegalese midfielder Oumar Sène, Nigerian playmaker Jay-Jay Okocha and even Madagascan defender Éric Rabésandratana, who have all starred, so their connections to the continent run deep.

Centre-back Presnel Kimpembe has represent the Democratic Republic of Congo at youth level, but looks set for an international career with France after being named in Didier Deschamps' squads.

Wonderkid and France U-20 international Christopher Nkunku is also of Congolese descent.


African players (2): Medhi Benatia (Morocco), Kwadwo Asamoah (Ghana)

Juventus have two African players who have featured fairly prominently in recent months and are assets to the first team.

Ghana midfielder Asamoah has been with the club since arriving from Udinese in 2012 and after making an initial impact, has faded in recent seasons, with injuries affecting his progress.

He's been used as Alex Sandro's understudy at left-back by Massimiliano Allegri.

Benatia is in his second season with the team having arrived on loan from Bayern Munich in the previous campaign. After a slow start he is starting to become a more prominent member of the side.


African players (1): Thomas Partey (Ghana)

Party is a player who looks to be kicking on with his career and after two seasons as a bit-part player at Atletico, has become a regular in the team.

The defensive midfielder has even chipped in with some crucial goals and at the age of 24 now looks to be heading towards his prime.

Atletico have usually enjoyed a strong association with Africa, usually through their academy, and they do have two players currently out on loan - Cameroon midfielder Pierre Kunde at Granada and Ghana's Bernard Mensah at Kasimpasa in Turkey.


African players (0): None

There are currently no African players at Barca, though in the somewhat recent past they have had the likes of Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o, Ivorian Yaya Toure and Mali star Seydou Keita.

In the 1990s it was Nigerians Emmanuel Amuneke and Samuel Okunowo who flew the African flag at one of the world's great clubs.


African players (1): Kwasi Okyere Wriedt (Ghana)

Bayern have just German-born forward Okyere Wriedt on their books with the young forward making his debut for the club this season.

He has already featured for the Ghana Under-20 side, and will now hope to kick on and win a regular place in the team.


African players (1): Achraf Hakimi (Morocco)

Real have only Moroccan full back Hakimi on their books, though he was born and raised in Madrid.

He made his Atlas Lions debut last year and will likely be in the squad that features at the World Cup.

The defender also made his Real Madrid bow this season, stepping in when Daniel Carvajal was injured, and netted his first goal in the 5-0 win over Sevilla at the weekend.