Ten Best Nigerian players to play in Premier League

Considered to be the most exciting football leagues in the world, Premier League has seen players from different countries join in the ranks of great football clubs since its start in 1992.

England’s elite football league has seen over 25 Nigerian players make their way to fly in their national colors of green white green and represent themselves over Europe as well.

Here we list the top 10 Nigerian players to play in the premier league. Roll in!

10. Daniel Amokachi

Daniel Amokachi signed for Everton after the 1994 world cup for 3 million pounds and got famous for his substitute goal scoring game play.

Best known for his double in the Semifinals of FA Cup over Tottenham in 1999, Amokachi later lost out his place to Duncan Ferguson. He could only manage a total of 43 games in the premier league scoring 10 in the process.

9. Celestine Babayaro

Celestine signed for the Chelsea side in 1997 from Anderlecht for a club record fee for a teenager at 2.25 million pounds.

He went on to win the Community Shield with Chelsea in 2001 and 2002.

With the arrival of Jose Mourinho in the club’s managerial role Babayaro was placed out of the team after which he joined Newcastle United in 2005.

He made a total of 179 appearances in EPL scoring 5 goals in the process.

8. Sone Aluko

Sone Aluko played for Hull City in the Premier League after signing the club in 2012.

Best known for his goal scoring abilities in difficult conditions, Aluko scored his first goal for Hull against Brighton and Hove side while he also went on to score a first class goal from 20 yards away against Blackpool which saw commentators compare him as a player to fit in Barcelona.

Aluko’s ability to score from outside the box are garnered to be his quality while his stunning volleys are also praised by several football pundits.

7. Kanu Nwankwo

After joining Arsenal from  FC Internazionale of Italy for 4.1 million pounds, Kanu might be known best for his substitute appearances in his total of 315 games in England.

However, the Nigerian international added 2 Premier League titles, 3 FA Cup, and 1 Community Shield which also helped him to win African and BBC football of the year during his period in EPL.

6. Austin Okocha

Okocha made his way into the premier league after the 2002 world cup from PSG to Bolton Wanderers.

Despite being limited to fewer appearances during his debut season because of several injury concerns, he took his side out of the relegation zone near to the end of the season with impressive seven goals to become a cult hero at the Reebok Stadium. He also became the club’s captain in 2003 and took his side to the first League Cup final in 2004 despite losing out against Middlesbrough.

Kanu scored 16 goals during his 124 Premier League games.

 

5. Yakubu Aiyegbeni

After impressive goal scoring form in the Champions League 2002/03 with 7 goals in 8 matches,

Yakubu made a permanent move to Portsmouth before securing the team’s place in EPL. This third highest goal scoring player in the Nigerian national team went on to represent several other clubs like Middlesbrough, Everton, Leicester City and Blackburn in the process.

Yakubu scored a total of 97 goals in 213 games in the Premier League.

4. Peter Odemwingie

Odemwingie signed for the West Bromwich Albion side in 2010 for an undisclosed fee in a two years deal and scored on his debut against Sunderland.

Known for his exceptional eye on goal, the player is best remembered for his match winning goal against Arsenal at the Emirates during the season where he topped the club record of highest goals in a season with 15.

3. Joseph Yobo

The most capped player in Nigerian football history with 101 caps, Joseph Yobo joined Everton in 2002 from Marseille in a million dollar loan deal while he permanently moved to premier league a year later for 4 million pound.  He also became the first ever African player to captain a Premier League side in the UEFA Cup 2007.

Later in 2009/10, he was dropped out of the team with the arrival of Phil Jagielka and John Heitinga in the team after which he was farmed out to Fenerbahce side. He scored a total of 8 goals during his career of 220 games in PL.

2. Victor Moses

Victor Moses plays for the defending champions Chelsea as a wing-back.. Known for his variety of playing, Moses can fit in as a forward despite being a winger by trade.

Moses got into Premier league through his impressive performance with Crystal Palace and his improvement in the game caught attentions from Chelsea where he signed and went on loans to Liverpool and Stoke City.

The most impressive outing for the Nigerian was however under manager Antonio Conte. The Nigerian played a crucial part in Chelsea’s title surge in 2016-17 joining his countryman John Obi Mikel in the Premier League winners’ list.

1. John Obi Mikel

With series of transfer fights between Manchester United and Chelsea, John Obi Mikel made his way into the London team.

Even compared to Lionel Messi for his attacking challenges during his younger days, Obi Mikel shifted to a defensive position in the team to guide the holding position.
Having scored his first goal in 2007 against Macclesfield Town, Obi Mikel is a sort of player who loves to make decent passes and slow down opposition’s attacking gameplay.

The most decorated player in EPL from Nigeria has also went on to win 4 FA Cups, 1 League Cup and 1 Champions League medal, along with two League titles.

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