London - Former Arsenal striker Nwankwo Kanu says his success at the London club has helped open doors for other African players in the English Premier League.
Kanu joined the Gunners on this day (February 17) in 1999, and went on to help Arsenal win two league titles and two FA Cups, scoring 44 goals along the way in 198 appearances.
The former Super Eagles captain said his five-year stint in North London has helped raise the profile of the Premier League in Africa.
Also read: Kanu hails Dream Team for booking Olympics ticket
"I believe I was the first [African] person who came to England and who did very well," Kanu told Arsenal website.
"After that the doors were opened for African talents so, with Arsenal behind me and what we did with Arsenal, everybody now tends to follow the English league, and wants players to come and play in the English league."
“When I came over I saw a good coach who saw the best in me. I was a good player because he made it easier for me to play.
“Everybody believes that English football is all about playing the ball up, not keeping it on the ground, but Arsène has his own idea of football and it made it easier for us. He wanted us to play football the right way, he wanted us to enjoy it by passing the ball around and that’s what we did.
“It was very easy to adjust when you saw the fans. The supporters are behind you and they love you and what you are doing and that means you have to do more. If you keep doing more, they keep loving you and it was very easy for them to adopt me.
“I had the skills and the tricks the fans really love. When I left Arsenal I still had the fans on my mind and since then I’ve been supporting the club.”For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.