The two-time UEFA Champions league winners,Chelsea, is unarguably one of the most celebrated and supported clubs in Africa. This is as a result of its consistent signing of top African talents to play for them over the years.
At least one or two African players helped the club attain success earlier in the history of football in the world.
This article tries to highlight the achievements of African players, starting with Derek Smethurst, the first African player for the Blues, and continuing with the current crop of African team heroes.
These are the top African footballers for Chelsea ever, in my opinion.
1. Victor Moses
One of the best African players to play for Chelsea is Victor Moses. He joined the club from Wigan Athletic in 2012 for a fee of €11.5 million.
Despite spending the majority of his time playing on loan, he had a successful season at Chelsea before moving to Spartak Moscow in 2021 for €5 million.
He participated in 128 games, scoring 18 goals and providing 13 assists. With the Blues, he won the English Premier League in 2017 as well as two Europa Cups and one FA Cup.
2. George Oppong Weah
The arguably all-time best African footballer will be our next athlete, President George Oppong Weah. In January 2000, the striker moved from AC Milan to Chelsea on a short term basis. He participated in 18 games and scored five goals. That year, he took home the FA Cup.
3. Celestine Babayaro
A record-breaking 3.50 million dollars was paid by Chelsea to Anderlecht in 1997 to secure one of Africa’s most promising players. The left back sensation’s career was marred by personal issues, but he was still a great player.
In 2001, Celestine Babayaro helped Chelsea win the English Premiership, two FA Cups, and the first-ever European trophy. His contribution to Chelsea was significant.
4. Samuel Etoo
Samuel Etoo, who joined Chelsea at the age of 33 and only stayed for one season under Jose Mourinho, yet had an impression before he left. The 21 games played by the four-time African footballer of the year resulted in 11 goals. He assists Chelsea in advancing to the UEFA Champions League semifinals.
5. Geremi Njitap
Geremi Njitap was one of Africa’s most underrated players in the history of football. He moved from Real Madrid to the Blues in 2003 for a 10 million dollar price. He played in 72 games, scoring 4 goals. His contribution was crucial to Chelsea’s back-to-back league championship victories. He won two English Premierships, two FA Cups, and one Super Cup.
6. Salomon Kalou
Salomon Kalou is the next top African athlete to play for Chelsea. The left winger was very impressive during his time with Chelsea. He played in over 200 games for the club, scoring 60 goals and dishing out 46 assists. Kalou won two Community Shield titles, one English Premiership, and four FA Cups.
7. John Obi Mikel
John Obi Mikel is one of the most underrated African players of his generation. The highly talented midfielder was restricted in his playing time at Chelsea, making it difficult for others to see the extraordinary skills he possessed.
Mikel joined Chelsea from FK Lyn for a fee of 20 million dollars during a transfer saga with Manchester United at the time, and he played in over 400 games for the Blues. Champion League, Premier League, Europa League, four FA Cups, and many other victories were won by John Obi Mikel.
8. Michael Essien
Many Ghanaians are now Chelsea fans thanks to Michael Essien’s energy and passion; the defensive midfielder dominated the Chelsea midfield after joining the club from Lyon for a record cost of 38 million.
In the nine years he was at Chelsea, he scored 17 goals in the Premier League. Essien won the Champions League, two English premier league titles, three FA Cups, and many more awards.
9. Didier Drogba
Didier Drogba is not only the greatest African player to play for Chelsea but also one of the greatest players in the world. He is the most decorated African football player in history.
He was undoubtedly the greatest African to play for a London club, winning four English Premier league titles, four FA Cups, and three league cups.
In 164 EPL games, he contributed to 104 goals and 64 assists. He participated in 92 matches and scored 44 goals in the Champions League.