Everton: Oumar Niasse joins mixed bag of African footballers to play for Blues
From Amokachi to Eto'o and getting shirty with Nyarko
Everton's new signing Oumar Niasse
Oumar Niasse was all smiles this week when introduced to the Everton crowd and Blues fans will be expecting big things from the Senegalese international who becomes the latest African footballer to follow a rich thread who have graced Goodison Park.
The 25 year-old declared: “It’s a dream for me to play in the Premier League and to play for Everton, I’m so happy to be here and excited to start.
“Goodison Park sounds good and I think I’m going to like it.”
Everton's Oumar Niasse signs autographs
The first African player to wow the Grand Old Lady was arguably the first football superstar from his continent to make a major impact on a global stage almost half a century ago.
Back at the 1966 World Cup finals, Portugal's Mozambique-born goal ace Eusebio produced his most memorable moments at Everton's home.
Having opened his account for the tournament in his second game at Old Trafford, a 3-0 stroll against Bulgaria, Eusebio took his game up a few notches on Merseyside.
Eusebio beating Brazil's Orlando (second left) in the air to head his team's second goal past Brazil goalkeeper Manga during the World Cup England 1966 match at Goodison Park
The mighty Brazil, winners of the previous two World Cups, were unceremoniously dumped out of the competition with a 3-1 defeat at Goodison courtesy of a Eusebio brace – whose who were present or have seen the footage of his second goal will never forget the 'thunderclap' that sounded with his powerful half volley.
There was more to come though and in Portugal's quarter-final at the Blues ground, Eusebio plundered a further four goals as his side came from 3-0 down to fight back and defeat North Korea 5-3. First decade The best substitution Joe Royle never made
Unlike the Portuguese or indeed the French or Belgians, English football was initially slow to harvest the football talent from its former African colonies and it wasn't until the advent of the Premier League that our domestic game started to adopt a more cosmopolitan flavour.
Memorably, Everton's first African player of their own was Daniel Amokachi, snapped up by Mike Walker for a then-club record £3million on the back of his exploits for Nigeria at the 1994 World Cup finals.
Daniel Amokachi with Mike Walker after signing for Everton in August 1994.
'Amo' as he affectionately became known to the Gwladys Street – who regularly performed a bowing homage to him – was a hugely popular figure during his time at the Blues but unfortunately his level of performances didn't always match his hefty price tag.
Undoubtedly his personal highlight from his two-year spell on these shores was his two-goal blast against Totteham Hotspur at White Hart Lane (Admin edit - sorry Echo - but it was Elland Rd) in the 1995 FA Cup semi-final after sneaking on to the pitch as Paul Rideout received treatment on the touchline.
Goal hero Daniel Amokachi, Everton is mobbed by fans against Tottenham Hotspur
Manager Joe Royle later quipped it was “the best substitution I never made”.
Nevertheless, Amokachi still managed to pocket an FA Cup winners' medal, having come off the bench against at Wembley as well as an Olympic gold medal with his country at the 1996 Games in Atlanta before departing for Turkish club Besiktas. He was boss on Championship Manager Next up for the Blues was another expensive striker who underwhelmed.
Ivory Coast international Ibrahima Bakayoko, whose monikers included 'Back of the Echo', cost £4.5million from Montpellier in 1998 with manager Walter Smith having received glowing reports on him from his former French League opponents John Collins of Monaco and Strasbourg's Olivier Dacourt who had both recently joined Everton.
Ibrahima Bakayoko after signing for Everton, with Olivier Dacourt (left) and John Collins (right) in 1998
Despite being a world-beater in the football computer game Championship Manager, the real life Bakayoko struggled with the rigours of the English game and having completed just one season at Everton, in which he netted just four goals in the Premier League, he was shipped off to Marseille in the summer of 1999.
Everton v Sunderland Worthington Cup. Ibrahima Bakayoko is consoled by physio Andy Jones after he missed the last spot kick putting Everton out of the competition on penalties.
On returning to Goodison in October 2007 for a UEFA Cup group game with Greek club Larissa Bakayoko was handed a warm reception but the nadir of his time with the Blues was a League Cup penalty shoot-out defeat at home to Sunderland when he attempted to take his spot-kick while wearing a tracksuit top only to be sent back to the centre circle by the referee and unsurprisingly seeing his shot saved.
The Peroxide turncoat With his bleached-blond hair and beard, Abel Xavier was one of the most instantly-recognisable players ever to don the royal blue jersey.
Like Eusebio, the versatile defender/midfielder was a Portuguese international who had been born in Mozambique.
Abel Xavier, EvertonAbel Xavier, Everton
Having joined neighbours Liverpool for £800,000 in 2002 – and subsequently scoring on his Reds debut having failed to find the net in 49 outings for the Blues – he remains the last player to date to directly cross Stanley Park.
You're not fit to wear the shirt? Adapting to the cut and thrust environment of the Premier League has proven quite a culture shock for some African players and none more so than Alex Nyarko.
Signed from Lens for £4.5million in 2000 as part of a new-look midfield that included Thomas Gravesen, Niclas Alexandersson and Paul Gascoigne after Nick Barmby, Don Hutchison and Collins had all departed in quick succession, the Ghanaian suffered a chastening experience at Highbury.
Alex Nyarko is confronted by a fan
With Everton on their way to a 4-1 defeat to Arsenal, an angry Evertonian took to the field and tugged at Nyarko's shirt, in a gesture which suggested he wasn't fit to wear the royal blue jersey.
The distraught player subsequently demanded to be substituted anyway on the back of the incident and never played for Smith again although after a couple of loan spells with Monaco and Paris St Germain, he did return a couple of years later to play a further 14 games under new boss David Moyes.
Moyes boys No Ordinary Joe
Indeed, the Scot's first signing after being appointed was an African player in the shape of Nigerian defender Joseph Yobo who arrived from Marseille, initially on a season-long loan before completing a permanent move the following summer.
Joseph Yobo (centre) with Everton team-mates and fellow Nigerian internationals Aiyegbeni Yakubu
With 259 games for Everton, including several as captain, Yobo holds the club's appearance record for an African player.
Ferrari sent back to the showroom Searching for defensive cover in 2005/06, Moyes turned to Roma's Italian international centre-back Matteo Ferrari.
Everton's Matteo Ferrari
Ferrari, who made 13 appearances for Everton, was born Aflou, Algeria, the son of an Italian petroleum engineer and a mother from Guinea.
Big Vic Having moved from the Nigerian capital of Lagos to Merseyside when he was just one year old, Victor Anichebe became Everton's first homegrown African player having graduated through the Blues Academy and making his first team debut as a late substitute at Chelsea in February 2006.
13 April: Victor Anichebe celebrates his 25th, and final, goal for Everton in a comfortable Goodison win over QPR
A bustling centre-forward, who could also operate down the right flank, Anichebe proved a useful option for Moyes but was sold to West Bromwich Albion by new boss Roberto Martinez for £6million in 2013.
Stevie P Possibly the silkiest African footballer to grace Goodison on a regular basis has been Steven Pienaar who has actually signed for Everton on four separate occasions.
The South African midfielder first joined on loan from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2007 before joining permanently the following year.
Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar
After an ill-fated and probably ill-advised 12 months at Tottenham between 2011-12, Pienaar returned to the Blues on loan in January 2012 before re-signing for £4.5million in July.
Forming a almost telepathic combination with Leighton Baines dubbed 'Bainaar' down the left flank in his pomp, the last couple of years have been hampered by a series of injuries and Pienaar, who turns 34 next month, appears likely to depart Goodison at the end of the current campaign when his contract expires. Feed the Yak and he will score Everton had been crying out for a top class finisher for most of the Premier League era before the then club record £11.25million purchase of Aiyegbeni Yakubu in 2007.
Everton's Ayegbeni Yakubu celebrates scoring the third goal of the match with team mates
Having already proven himself in English football and Portsmouth and Middlesbrough, the Nigerian international repaid the Blues faith in his first season by becoming their first player to break the 20-goal barrier since Peter Beardsley in 1991/92.
Early in his second season, he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon which kept him out for almost a year and although he went on to recover and is still playing now, he never looked quite the same player as before his injury. Give me Hope Hope Akpan from Childwall made a solitary nine-minute cameo appearance for Everton in the Europa League dead rubber with BATE Borisov in December 2009 but played for Nigeria through his parents.
Everton's Kevin Mirallas (Left) in action with Reading's Hope Akpan (right)
Capped four times by the Super Eagles, he's now back in the North West with Blackburn Rovers after spells with Crawley Town and Reading.
Tipping the scales Signed by Moyes on the recommendation of former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier in 2010, French left winger Magaye Gueye went on to turn out for his parents' country Senegal at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Everton FC v Sunderland. Magaye Gueye celebrates his goal after making it 1-0 for the Blues.
Having had his Blues contract paid up early by mutual consent in 2014, he was subsequently dropped by Ian Holloway at Millwall for supposedly being overweight.
Martinez's men The late bloomer
Having played for Martinez at Wigan Athletic, Ivory Coast striker Arouna Kone became the Catalan's first signing as Everton boss in July 2013 for an undisclosed fee believed to be around £5million.
Everton v Sunderland. Arouna Kone celebrates making it 5-2.
After a tough first couple of seasons at the Blues, hampered by a knee cartilage injury, Kone has enjoyed a much-improved time during the current campaign and has netted seven times – including a hat-trick against Sunderland. The Big Man With Kone injured in the second half of 2013/14, his compatriot Lacina Traore arrived on loan from Monaco.
Everton's Lacina Traore
At a towering 6ft 8in, the striker became the tallest player in Everton history but despite netting just four minutes into his debut in a 3-1 win over Swansea City in an FA Cup fifth round tie, he totalled just 62 minutes of action for the club in two appearances.
Boys to Bren Snapped up as a centre-back from MK Dons in 2014, athletic Brendan Galloway was one of the revelations of the first half of this season for Everton while deputising at left-back for the injured Leighton Baines.
Brendan Galloway grapples with Danny Ings.
Still a teenager until next month, the England Under-19 international was born in Zimbabwe and moved to the UK when he was six years old.
Christian Aid After the disappointments suffered by Nyarko, it seemed a safe bet that fellow Ghanaian Christian Atsu was going to have more of an impact at Goodison than his compatriot when arriving on loan from Chelsea in 2014.
The winger just couldn't get going with the Blues though despite coming back from his mid-season heroics at the African Cup of Nations where he was named Player of the Tournament and scored the Goal of the Tournament.
Serhiy Rybalka of Dynamo Kyiv and Christian Atsu of Everton battle for the ball during a Europa League round of 16
Atsu was last seen in an Everton shirt in the 5-2 Europa League exit at Dynamo Kiev where he had been handed a surprise start by Martinez.
He was loaned out again to Bournemouth at the start of the current campaign but after a similarly anonymous stint with the Cherries, he has now been farmed out by his parent club in London to Malaga.
Past glories With four African Player of the Year awards, three Champions League winners' medals, an Olympic gold medal, three La Liga titles and a Scudetto amassed in a bulging trophy cabinet, Samuel Eto'o is truly one of football's all-time greats.
At 33 by the time he came to Goodison he was undoubtedly past his peak but Martinez felt he still had something to offer, declaring him as being “A gift from the footballing gods.”
Everton's Samuel Eto'o celebrates scoring his side's second goal at Burnley
The Cameroonian rolled back the years with a sparkling two-goal display in a 3-1 win at Burnley but seemingly frustrated by a lack of game time – despite making 20 appearances in half a season – he departed for Italian club Sampdoria in January 2015 and has since moved on again to Antalyaspor in Turkey.