Over the past few months I have set out on a mission to demonstrate that Liverpool should be shopping for players outside of the UK on the basis that there is far more talent to be had throughout Europe and other continents than there is within the UK, and that the price of said talent is far more appealing than the price for British talent.
Thus far I have covered Asia, North and South America and Germany. I believe those articles have demonstrated that the "Buy British" mentality is greatly flawed in terms of the talent available, as well as the financial aspect of buying and selling players.
I was asked if I could put together a list of potential African players that Liverpool could potentially target and initially I wasn't going to because I don't watch any African club football and to be quite honest I couldn't tell you who the best players in Africa are.
Having thought about it some more I decided that what I would do is put together a list of talented African players plying their trade in Europe who, in my opinion, would represent excellent targets for Damien Comolli and Kenny Dalglish.
Liverpool have not had many African players in the last 20 years, and those that have been at the club really haven't made the grade with the exception of the man in the picture, Momo Sissoko. Diouf and Diao are names that make Liverpool fans shudder and it would be understandable if Liverpool fans preferred to see their team avoid African players based on previous experience.
However, that would be doing a great injustice to a continent which is producing some of the most talented players in the world right now, many of whom are greatly underrated and available at excellent prices.
It's not just a recent thing either. Adebayor, Drogba, Eto'o, Yaya Toure and Essien are names which immediately come to mind when you consider great strikers or midfielders in world football. Those five followed on from people like George Weah, Nwankwo Kanu, Jay-Jay Okacha, and Abedi Pele who lit up European football with their wonderful skill for many years. That's not even mentioning many of the great African-born players who went on to represent European nations.
With the African Cup of Nations only days away I thought it was the perfect time for this article. I have tried to mainly focus on players I feel can make a big impact in the tournament, with a couple of exceptions. I also decided to stick with one player per country rather than just focus on two or three nations.
I hope you enjoy, and I also hope that this article will get you more interested in watching the African Cup of Nations because it really has the potential to be a fantastic tournament.
Oh and just to note, I'm classifying certain players as African by the country they represent rather than their place of birth.