Arsene Wenger's top five African success stories at Arsenal

Nwankwo Kanu of Arsenal Stu Forster /Allsport

Outgoing Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger has relied heavily on African players during his 22-year tenure, with several continental stars playing a part in some of the Frenchman's greatest triumphs.

While Wenger is set to depart without truly seeing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fulfil his undoubted potential with the Gunners, a handful of big-name African players owe a large part of their career success to the Alsatian.

As Wenger calls time on his tenure at the Emirates Stadium, KweséESPN rank the top five African players to have featured under the 68-year-old.

5. Alex Song's peak years at Arsenal may have been brief, but they were occasionally intoxicating, with the Cameroon international suggesting - in moments at least - that he could be the heir to Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva.

Ultimately, a move to Barcelona in 2012 denied Song the chance to become an Arsenal great, and sent his career into something of a downward spiral from which - as a free agent at 30 - he's yet to truly recover from.

After being signed from SC Bastia in 2005, originally on loan, the versatile midfielder gradually became a key figure in Wenger's starting XI.

He netted Arsenal's 1000th league goal under Wenger against Bolton in September 2010, and memory set up Robin van Persie with a sensational assist as the North Londoners beat Everton 1-0 in their 125th anniversary clash.

4. Lauren - A key but largely unheralded member of the Invincibles team of 2003-04, Lauren made 32 league appearances during that memorable campaign as Arsenal kept the best defensive record in the division.

He was such a talented right-back, that it became easy to forget that he'd originally been a right winger before Wenger signed him from Mallorca in 2000.

Lauren was a key member of the outstanding Cameroon side of the turn of the century - winning two African Cup of Nations titles and an Olympic gold medal - but it was with Arsenal that he enjoyed his greatest success.

As well as the Prem title in 2004, he also won the league in 2002 and completed a hat-trick of FA Cup successes with the North Londonders.

3. Emmanuel Adebayor - Admittedly, things soured between Adebayor and the Arsenal supporters, but surely there's at least some residual respect among a portion of the fanbase...at least those who remember the Togo international's 2007-08 season.

In that campaign, the West African netted an eye-catching 24 goals in 36 games for the capital club, taking his game to a new level having scored just 12 league goals in the previous season and a half since signing from AS Monaco.

Ultimately, he wouldn't win any silverware at Arsenal, but a series of individual honours - BBC African Footballer of the Year and Goal of the Season awards, CAF Footballer of the Year, PFA Team of the Season recognition - were testament to his glittering impact with the club.

The forward signed for Manchester City, then as Africa's most expensive player, in 2009, and currently represents Istanbul Basaksehir after spells with Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur.

2. Kolo Toure is the only African player to have won the Premier League title with multiple clubs, and while he excelled with Manchester City after joining the Arsenal exodus to Eastlands, he'll be best remembered for his spell with the Gunners.

The centre-back ought to be remembered as one of Wenger's best signings - and one of his best bargains - after being recruited from ASEC Mimosas for a fee of £150,000.

During the Invincibles year, only a season and a half after he moved to England, Toure forged an immense central-defensive partnership with Sol Campbell, with the duo coupling pace, power and poise as the capital club romped to the title.

The Ivorian would go onto form a fine partnership with Philippe Senderos - much to the former's credit - and was a defeated Champions League finalist in 2006.

1. Nwakwo Kanu is perhaps generously named as Arsenal's 13th greatest player on the club's official website, but there's little denying that he's one of the finest African players ever to grace the game...and a genuine legend in the red half of North London.

Perhaps the graceful forward's goalscoring was occasionally fitful, but he more than paid back the £4.15 million Arsenal paid Internazionale for his services and earned the adulation of supporters for a 15-minute hat-trick against rivals Chelsea.

He made a habit of coming off the bench to make an impact, and was a fringe player in the Invincibles squad.

The forward, who'd won the Champions League with Ajax and the UEFA Cup with Inter, ended his Arsenal career with two Premier Leagues and two FA Cups.