Continuing our alphabetical world tour, this time we’re looking at Algeria. As the largest African country by area, Algeria have a rich footballing history in their own continent, and famously made waves at the 1982 World Cup.
According to the Premier League website, 16 players have represented Algeria in the Premier League, starting way back in 1998.
First Player – Moussa Saïb (Spurs; 1998-2000)
Not the biggest Algerian name to have graced the Premier League, but midfielder Moussa Saïb enjoyed a roller coaster two-year spell in England with Spurs.
Joining in February 1998 from Valencia for £2.3m, Saïb was immediately thrust into a relegation dogfight, which Spurs eventually escaped with Saïb scoring in a 6-2 victory over Wimbledon which guaranteed survival in their penultimate game of the season.
Despite wearing squad number eight, he was restricted to just four substitute appearances the following season as Spurs won the League Cup. He then left Spurs in January 2000 for Saudi club Al-Nassr.
- Most Appearances – Riyad Mahrez (189)
- First appearance – Moussa Saïb (SPURS 1-0 Bolton, March 1st 1998)
- Most goals – Riyad Mahrez (53)
- First goal – Moussa Saïb (Wimbledon 2-6 SPURS, May 2nd 1998)
Double League champion Riyad Mahrez is joined in the Premier League by Nabil Bentaleb, who is enjoying his second spell in England with Newcastle having broken through with Spurs in 2013 before moving to Schalke. Elsewhere, Islam Slimani is still on the books of Leicester City but is currently out on loan at Monaco.
- Of the 16 Algerians to have featured in the Premier League, 11 have made an appearance since the start of 2010. Meanwhile, Moussa Saïb was the only player to have appeared before 2000.
- 12 of the 16 Algerian Premier League players were born in France, and six were capped by France at youth level.
- As of the Premier League’s suspension due to Covid-19, Riyad Mahrez has 53 Premier League goals, 20 more than every other Algerian combined.
- Riyad Mahrez is the only Algerian to have won the Premier League.