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Nigerian Players’ Scorecard For 2019/20 Season

Nigerian Players’ Scorecard For 2019/20 Season

A lot of Nigerian players were on parade for different clubs across the continent of Europe, Asia and Africa during the 2019/20 season.
Complete Sports reporter, OLUYEMI OGUNSEYIN takes a look at how most of them performed for their respective sides during the campaign…

Kelechi IHEANACHO (Leicester City, England)

Kelechi Iheanacho rediscovered himself with the Leicester City attacker getting game time on a regular basis for his club during the 2019/20 English Premier League season after falling out of favour last term.

The 23-year-old who earned a recall to the Super Eagles after quite a long time out had five goals and four assists in 20 Premier League appearances while he netted ten goals in 26 games across all competitions.

During the just-concluded season, Iheanacho created a few records, one of which saw him becoming the highest scoring Nigerian player in the Carabao Cup formerly known as the English Football League (EFL) Cup.

Prior to that, the former Nigeria youth international had written a piece of his own history after becoming the first Nigerian player ever to hit double figure in the English FA Cup.
He was the match winner when Leicester beat Brentford 1-0 in the fourth round, thus becoming the first Nigerian to score ten goals in England’s oldest football competition, achieving the feat in his 13th appearance.

Iheanacho also netted his eight goal in his 14th appearance overall for both Man City and Leicester City in the Carabao Cup, one ahead of compatriot, Yakubu Aiyegbeni who scored seven times.

The attacking sensation also for the very first time in his club football career scored in three different matches against a single opponent within the very same season. He scored in a 4-1 Premier League trashing of Aston Villa in December, in the Carabao Cup semi-final first and second legs against the same opponents who, however, beat Leicester 3-2 on aggregate to reach the final.

Also Read – Osimhen: I Want To Emulate Maradona, Cavani, Higuain At Napoli

The forward also reached double figure of goals for the first time in one season since joining Leicester in 2017, having netted ten times in 26 games in all competitions.

Iheanacho’s top four aspiration, however, ended on a hugely disappointing note when Leicester lost 2-0 to Manchester United in their final Premier League match of the season at King Power Stadium.

Wilfred NDIDI (Leicester City, England)

Nigerian midfield ace, Wilfred Ndidi made his 120th overall Premier League appearance for Leicester City during the just-concluded season in a 2-0 loss to Manchester United in their final match of the campaign.

Ndidi who has always been a regular for the Foxes played 32 EPL games this season which yielded two goals, one assist and six yellow cards. Across all competitions, the tall midfielder made 39 appearances.

The midfield enforcer is also currently Nigeria’s most valuable player. He has been the Foxes backbone churning out solid and consistent performances since joining the side in 2016/17 season.

He has 120 Premier League games under his belts across four seasons, scoring six goals. He finished second both as EPL’s top tackler and best interceptions in the just-concluded season.

Apart from Leicester’s inability to make the top-four, Ndidi also failed in his bid to win a third consecutive award as the best tackler in the Premier League this season.

Ndidi this time around lost the prize to Aaron Wan-Bissaka of Man United who recorded 129 tackles in the English top-flight while the Leicester midfield battler had 128.

The Nigerian international would have made more history by becoming the first player to lead the top of tackle charts for three straight seasons, having become the first to do so twice in a row last year.

Ndidi was also in a strong race for the top interception award but the 23-year eventually finished second, having made 80 interceptions, three less than Bournemouth’s Diego Rico.

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Odion IGHALO (Manchester United, England)

Odion Ighalo qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time ever in his football career which has seen him play for Udinese in the Serie A, Granada in the La Liga and Watford in the EPL.

Also Read – Serie B: Simy Nwankwo Emerges Top Scorer For Season 2019/20

This happened when Manchester United where he is currently playing on loan went away to beat Leicester City 2-0 in their final match of the just-concluded Premier League season at King Power Stadium.

The former Nigerian international despite scoring five goals and making an assist in 17 appearances across all competitions for the Red Devils failed to score in eleven English top-flight outings.

Ighalo who will still play in this season’s Europa League has, however, scored in all four games he has started for the Old Trafford giants, equalling a 95-year-old record set in 1925 by Jimmy Hanson.

Alex IWOBI (Everton, England)

Nigerian forward, Alex Iwobi recorded his worst season in the Premier League after ending the campaign with just a goal in 25 appearances for Everton while his goal drought spanned 23 matches.

Iwobi who was not listed for the last game of the season against Bournemouth has made 125 EPL appearances overall, playing 100 games for former club, Arsenal, scoring 11 goals and making 16 assists.

The breakdown shows that the Super Eagles attacker scored two EPL goals in 13 games in his debut season in 2015/16, thrice in 26 outings in both the 2016/17 and 2017/18 terms.

During the 2018/19 EPL campaign, Iwobi found the back of the net on another three occasions in 35 appearances for Arsenal before leaving the North London outfit for Everton.

He joined Everton for £27.36m last summer but struggled to have much impact in his first season, having contributed just two goals and an assist in 28 games across all competitions.

Isaac SUCCESS (Watford, England)

Ex-Nigerian youth international, Isaac Success had a dissapointing time at Watford who were relegated with the 2019/20 Premier League campaign having also now become his worst season ever.

Success who missed Watford’s 3-2 defeat to the Gunners in the final EPL game of the season at the Emirates Stadium due to a long-term hamstring injury has been tipped to leave this summer.

He actually got some playing time during the winter period but a pair of assists against Coventry City in the League Cup in August was as good as it ever got for the Nigerian international.

Success managed just 67 minutes in the Premier League across five substitute appearances for the relegated Hornets this term and continues to be a major disappointment in English football.

Tom DELE-BASHIRU (Watford, England)

Tom Dele-Bashiru also had a hugely dissapointing time at Watford with the Nigerian midfielder having failed to make any appearance in the 2019/20 Premier League campaign.

Also Read: Ajayi Celebrates West Brom’s Premier League Promotion

With Dele-Bashiru unable to play against Arsenal, he created an unwanted record by a Nigerian in the history of the EPL as even Blessing Kaku featured once for Bolton Wanderers.

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Semi AJAYI (West Bromwich Albion, England)

Super Eagles defender, Semi Ajayi, was hugely instrumental in his clubside, West Bromwich Albion gaining promotion from the SkyBet Championship into the English Premier League.

The Baggies made a return to the EPL after two years in the SkyBet Championship after a 2-2 home draw with Queens Park Rangers and a loss for third-placed Brentford on the final day.

In 43 league games for the Baggies this season with 42 being starts, the versatile defender scored five goals, kept eleven clean-sheets, picked up six cautions and one red card.

The 26-year-old teamed up with Slaven Bilic’s men in the summer of 2019 on a four-year contract after his eye-catching performances for former side, Rotherham United.

Ajayi was one of the stand-out performers for Rotherham in the 2018-19 season, netting seven goals in 46 appearances inspite of the club’s failure to avoid relegation.

Eberechi EZE (Queens Park Rangers, England)

Eberechi Eze was included in the English Football League Championship Player of the Season after he churned out impressive performances for Queens Park Rangers on a consistent level.

The attacking midfielder was been impressive for QPR this season, finding the back of the net 14 times while also providing eight assists in 48 appearances in all competitions.

Eze capped the season by being voted Supporters’ Player of the Year, Players’ Player and Junior Hoops Player of the Year. The 22-year-old had 136 successful dribbles as per Whoscored.com.

Leon BALOGUN (Brighton & Wigan Athletic, England)

Leon Balogun made a massive impact at Wigan Athletic in the second half of the 2019/20 SkyBet Championship season on loan from Premier League side, Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Nigeria international agreed a short-term extension to cover the last six matches of the season to help the club’s relegation fight but Wigan suffered a 12-point deduction.

Balogun previously played for Brighton in the first period of the just-concluded season but the centre-back struggled to make it into the first team of the Premier League side.

The 32-year-old made eleven league appearances for Wigan which saw him keep six clean-sheets while he played just two matches at Brighton, one each in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

Bright OSAYI-SAMUEL (Queens Park Rangers, England)

Anglo- Nigerian forward, Bright Osayi-Samuel was such a spectacle as he provided five goals and nine assists in 37 matches for Queens Park Rangers during the 2019/20 SkyBet Championship season.

Since joining QPR, the Nigerian winger has played 92 matches across all competitions with ten goals to his name. He is eligible to feature for either Nigeria or England on the international scene.

According to several reports, the Anambra-born attacker is a target for Belgian First Division A champions, Club Brugge after his fine performances for QPR in the just-concluded campaign.

Ovie EJARIA (Reading, England)

Super Eagles hopeful, Ovie Ejaria with three goals and five assists in 36 Championship outings for Reading this season has really thrived under the stewardship of manager, Mark Bowen.

Ejaria who has UEFA Champions League holders and run-away Premier League leaders, Liverpool among the list of clubs he has played for in his young football career shone consistently for Reading.

As per whoscored.com, he is also versatile, having played five different roles; MC (Midfielder Centre), AML (Attacking Midfielder Left), FWL (Forward Left), ML (Midfielder Left) and MR (Midfielder Right).

Reports say Ejaria who was born to Nigerian parents in London has switched his international allegiance from England to Nigeria. That is after playing for England’s youth teams in the last few years.

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Victor OSIMHEN (Lille, France)

Victor Osimhen scooped a major award for himself after the ever-reliable Super Eagles attacker was voted as Lille’s best player of the 2019/20 Ligue 1 season which wasn’t concluded due to the Coronavirus.

The 21-year-old has been in the form of his life since joining Lille of France from Sporting Charleroi of Belgium last summer, netting 18 goals and making six assists in 38 games across all competitions.

Osimhen has also gone ahead to become Nigeria’s most expensive player ever, beating Alex Iwobi’s record following his summer transfer from Lille to Napoli in the Italian Serie A.

The striker who won the U-17 World Cup with the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria in 2015 put pen to paper on a five-year deal believed to be worth €50m with a further €20m add-ons.

The Italian Serie A outfit after intense weeks of negotiations officially announced the signing of the Super Eagles striker from French Ligue 1 club-side, LOSC Lille last week Friday.

Moses SIMON (Nantes, France)

Nigerian forward, Moses Simon also won an individual prize after being voted as Nantes’ best player of the 2019/20 Ligue 1 season which wasn’t concluded due to the Coronavirus pandemic breakout.

Simon was on a one-year loan deal at Nantes from Levante of Spain before the French top-flight outfit made a decision to land his signature on a permanent basis.

The French top-flight club triggered the option to sign the Nigerian international on a permanent deal after his impressive loan deal, having completed the signing of Simon on a four-year contract.

The exciting winger was named in the Team of the Decade by Nantes. Fans of the top-tier club participated in an online vote, giving the former Gent forward a starting berth on the right-wing.

And across all competitions during the season, the Super Eagles attacker hit the back of the net on nine occasions while setting up eight other goals in 30 appearances.

Henry ONYEKURU (Monaco, France & Galatasaray, Turkey)

Nigerian forward, Henry Onyekuru did not particularly have a season to be proud of as he played for two clubs, Monaco of France and Galatasaray of Turkey in the just concluded campaign.

Onyekuru made a return to the Turkish Super Lig for his second loan stint with the Lions in January after struggling to cement regular playing time in his debut campaign in the Ligue 1.

Following his return, Onyekuru boosted Galatasaray’s charge to defend the league title with a contribution of an assist and a goal which sealed their 3-1 win over Fenerbahce in February.

He played 12 games in all competitions for Galatasaray before making a move from Istanbul back to Monaco to re-join the Principality side on the request of now sacked boss, Robert Moreno.
This season, though, for both Monaco and Galatasaray, the 23-year-old had a tally of an abysmal number of one goal and three assists in 16 appearances across all competitions.

Samuel KALU (Bordeaux, France)

Samuel Kalu had a really disappointing season for Girondins Bordeaux which saw the winger netting just once in 20 Ligue 1 appearances for the French club all through the campaign.

The exciting winger also recorded only that one goal while weighing in with two other assists in 22 outings across all competitions for the French top-flight outfit.

Kalu, meanwhile, just made a return to training with his Ligue 1 club, Girondis Bordeaux and that was precisely on Sunday after testing negative to the coronavirus.

The 22-year-old has been linked with a move to Turkish clubs, Galatasaray and Fenerbahce this summer window while Hertha Berlin and Real Betis are also tracking him.

Josh MAJA (Bordeaux, France)

England-born Nigerian striker, Joshua Erowoli Maja commonly referred to as Josh Maja had an encouraging campaign with Bordeaux which happened to be his debut in the French Ligue 1.
Maja was hailed by team-mate, Enock Kwateng as Bordeaux’s best finisher after showing he can be relied on to deliver the goals with a hat-trick in a 6-0 destruction of Nimes last December.

The 21-year-old earlier this season also once held the record of the most efficient Nigerian striker playing in the top five European Leagues (Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1).

Maja scored 17 goals in three seasons in England before joining Bordeaux. Maja who has the trust of Gernot Rohr earned his maiden Eagles cap in a 2-2 draw with Ukraine in a friendly last year September.

Following the conclusion of the French football season due to Coronavirus, Bordeaux announced Maja as its top-scorer for the 2019/2020 campaign after the striker scored 8 goals in 24 league appearances.

Samuel CHUKWUEZE (Villareal, Spain)

Nigerian speedster, Samuel Chukwueze scored three goals and contributed five assists in 37 matches in the Spanish La Liga Santander for Villareal during the 2019/20 season.

Chukwueze and Villarreal’s dream of taking part in the UEFA Champions League next season could, however, not be realized as the Yellow Submarine finished in the fifth position.
What that means is that the exciting winger will only play in the UEFA Europa League next term and that will be his second campaign, having played there in the 2018/19 season.

Ramon AZEEZ (Granada, Spain)

Ramon Azeez will be making his debut in the UEFA Europa League next term after helping his club, Granada to finish in the seventh position on the Spanish La Liga Santander table.

On a personal note, Azeez also had a very good outing with Granada during the 2019/20 season and also scored two goals in 25 league appearances despite playing deep in the midfield.

The Super Eagles midfielder’s highlight of the just -concluded Spanish top-flight campaign came when he scored a goal for the Nasrids in a shock 2-0 victory against Barcelona.

Oghenekaro ETEBO (Stoke City, England & Getafe, Spain)

Nigerian star, Oghenekaro Etebo had a slightly above average performance for both Stoke City of England and Getafe of Spain where he was sent on loan during the 2019/20 season.

Etebo who made his second transfer in the month of January could finally seal a permanent move from Skybet Championship side, Stoke to Getafe during the summer transfer window.
The 24-year-old showed glimpses of what he can do by scoring once in ten La Liga appearances for Getafe. He played eleven Championship matches for Stoke this term without scoring.

Kenneth OMERUO (Leganes, Spain)

Kenneth Omeruo despite the fact that his club, Leganes suffered relegation from the La Liga Santander into the Segunda division churned out wonderful performances all through the season.
The 26-year-old inspite of injuries started 22 of his 23 Spanish top-flight games in the just-concluded season with a goal and five yellow cards to his name. He is on Levante’s transfer radar.

Chidozie AWAZIEM (Leganes, Spain)

Chidozie Awaziem had a very good outing during the 2019/20 Spanish La Liga Santander season despite the fact that his club, Leganes suffered relegation into the Segunda division.

The versatile Super Eagles defender played 26 LaLiga games for Leganes on loan from Porto. He will however, be heading back to Portugal. Awaziem is gradually staking claim to a regular shirt for Nigeria.

Kelechi NWAKALI (SD Huesca, Spain)

Kelechi Nwakali believes it is the beginning of a new chapter for him in his football career after helping his club, SD Huesca to secure promotion into the La Liga Santander.

Apart from moving into the Spanish top-flight from the second division, Huesca also won the Segunda SmartBank title after beating Sporting Gijon 1-0 away in the final game.

Defeat for league leaders, Cadiz at home to Albacete also helped in a great way to hand the Segunda Division title to the Azulgranas who triumphed by a lone goal at Gijon.

Nwakali played the entire game which was his fifth appearance of the 2019/20 season as Huesca beat Gijon away from home to record a dramatic takeover of the title from Cadiz.

Victor MOSES (Inter Milan, Italy)

Victor Moses’ Inter Milan will face Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League quarter-finals after beating Oghenekaro Etebo’s Getafe 2-0 in Wednesday’s single-legged round of 16 tie.

Etebo and Moses did not feature for their respective club-sides as a goal each from Romelu Lukaku and Christian Eriksen saw Inter through after Getafe threw away a penalty kick.
Moses has, meanwhile, said that Inter who he joined on loan from Chelsea in January will focus on winning the Europa League after finishing in second spot in the Serie A.

Although, Moses failed to hit the back of the net in twelve Italian top-flight appearances for Inter, the retired Super Eagles star did well to weigh in with five assists.

Meanwhile, Chelsea are reportedly prepared to entertain offers for as many as ten players including Moses who was on loan at Fenerbahce in the first round of the 2019/20 season.

William TROOST-EKONG (Udinese, Italy)

Nigeria central defender, William Troost-Ekong was consistently a rock in the heart of defence as Udinese ended the 2019/20 Italian Serie A season on a very wonderful note.

The Super Eagles defender made 30 league appearances this season. The 26-year-old made 29 starts for the Little Zebras who ended the season in the 13th position on 45 points.

It is, however, such a ridiculous thing that Troost-Ekong who has shone very much at Udinese in the Serie A since joining in 2018 has a hugely low valuation of just €3.20m.

Ola AINA (Torino, Italy)

All through the 2019/20 season, Super Eagles defender, Ola Aina failed to find the back of the net in the Serie A, having registered only two assists in 32 appearances for Torino.

The Nigerian defender scored one goal in 30 matches in the Italian top-flight during the 2018/19 season after linking up with the Maroons on loan from former club-side, Chelsea.

Aina himself has gone ahead to make a honest admittance that Torino had a rough season but he is a relieved man after his club eventually survived going into relegation.

The 23-year-old whose deal with Torino runs until the summer of 2023 is being tracked by the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Everton, West Ham United, Fiorentina and AC Milan.

Aina’s days at Torino might actually be numbered with the Italian Serie A club, having already started making serious plans to bring in some full-backs, according to reports.

Simeon “Simy” NWANKWO (Crotone, Italy)

Simeon “Simy” Nwankwo emerged top-scorer in the Serie B for the 2019/20 season with 20 goals, one ahead of Perugia’s Pietro Lemmello who netted 19 times during the just-concluded campaign.

This is also his most prolific season ever, netting 21 times in 38 games in all competitions for Crotone and logging a total of 3,115 minutes with a goal involvement of every 148 minutes.

The 28-year-old has set his sights on making a comeback to the Super Eagles of Nigeria under the tutelage of Gernot Rohr following his wonderful goal-scoring form throughout this season.

Simy who was last invited for national team assignment by chief coach, Rohr in September of the year 2018 hopes his playing in the Serie A could earn him a recall in the nearest future.

Joel OBI (Chievo, Italy)

Nigerian star, Joel Obi is getting closer to making a return to the Serie A with his club, Chievo who are now on the verge of gaining promotion into the Italian top-flight.

Chievo advanced to the semi-finals of the Serie B play-offs after a thrilling 1-1 match against Empoli which was decided in extra-time and also saw three missed penalties.

The Gialloblu needed extra-time at the Bentegodi to overcome Empoli and secure a place in the semi-finals of the play-offs where Spezia are waiting to do battle with them.

Obi has made 27 league appearances with a goal and an assist to his name. The 29-year-old has played for Inter Milan, AC Parma, Torino and Chievo in the Serie A since 2010.

Joe ARIBO (Rangers, Scotland)

Super Eagles midfielder, Joe Aribo exited the Europa League on Thursday after Rangers lost 1-0 to Bayer Leverkusen at the Bay Arena to drop out of the competition 4-1 on aggregate.

Aribo who joined Rangers from Charlton Athletic in the summer transfer window of last year netted nine goals and made eight assists in 49 games overall during the 2019/20 season.

The Nigerian international only last week Friday won the Young Player of the Year prize together with the Goal of the Season diadem during his debut campaign for the Scottish side.

Jamilu COLLINS (SC Paderborn, Germany)

Super Eagles left full-back, Jamilu Collins will have a justified reason to make a departure from SC Paderborn this summer after the German minnows were relegated from the Bundesliga.
In March, Hertha BSC, Schalke 04 and Mainz 05 were reportedly interested in Collins who played 30 Bundesliga games for Paderborn, scoring one goal and making two assists.

Collins is sought after in the transfer market. The defender who has a contract with Paderborn until 2021 is on the radar of English clubs such as Fulham, Norwich City and Newcastle United.
A possible move to England could fail as he would have had to complete a quota of 75 percent of the compulsory national games in his home country in the past two years for a work permit in the UK.

The 26-year-old has played 14 competitive games for Nigeria and is therefore just under the specified quota. This would obstruct his dream destination, England where he hopes to play for Arsenal.

Taiwo AWONIYI (Mainz 05, Germany)

Former Nigerian youth international, Taiwo Awoniyi spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Mainz 05 after sealing a temporary switch to the Bundesliga team from parent club, Liverpool in August 2019.

The striker who only started to see regular game time since the season resumed in June, however, struck the back of the net only once after making eleven appearances in the Bundesliga for Mainz.

Liverpool signed him in 2015, however, he could not play for the Reds and was sent out on loan. Awoniyi has since had spells at FSV Frankfurt, NEC Nijmegen, Royal Mouscron, KAA Gent and Mainz.

However, his loan stints at these clubs have not really helped his football development and the forward will need a permanent move away from Liverpool this summer to get his groove back like Stella.

Maduka OKOYE (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany)

Nigerian goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye made 13 German Regionalliga West appearances for Fortuna Dusseldorf’s third-tier team during the 2019/20 season, keeping only one clean-sheet while conceding 26 goals.

The 20-year-old was promoted to Fortuna’s senior team before the coronavirus pandemic-enforced break but was not dressed for any of his club’s Bundesliga matches after the season restarted in June.

Okoye was last in goal in a German Regionalliga West encounter which saw Fortuna play out a 2-2 draw with Bonner SC at the Sportpark Nord earlier this year, precisely on 26 January, 2020.

The German-born has, however, joined Dutch Eredivisie side, Sparta Rotterdam in a bid to gain first team experience and also become the Super Eagles number one after becoming a free agent this summer.

Kingsley EHIZIBUE (Defender – FC Cologne, Germany)

Towering defender, Kingsley Ehizibue made 29 starts in 31 Bundesliga appearances for Cologne this season, scoring one goal making one other assist and bagging six yellow cards.

Ehizibue who was born in Munich, Germany to Nigerian parents and moved to the Netherlands at two years of age was also handed a first call up to the Super Eagles in March.

Ahmed MUSA (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia)

Skipper and one of the most senior members of the Super Eagles, Ahmed Musa has seen it all in football. He is a proud winner of the African Cup of Nations while he is also the highest-scoring Nigerian player at the FIFA World Cup with four goals.

The 27-year-old has, however, been very far from his best so far this season, having failed to score in 17 Saudi Arabian Professional League games for Al-Nassr FC with only five assists in his record.

And for the record, the winger’s last league goal for Al Nassr dates back to April 18 of the year 2019 when he netted a brace in his club’s 5-0 thrashing of Al Fateh.

John Obi MIKEL (Trabzonspor, Turkey)

Ex-Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi is for the second straight summer window seeking a new club after his contract at Trabzonspor who he played 19 Super Lig games for was mutually terminated.

The former Chelsea midfield enforcer is a target for Botafogo but the Brazilian side could face a serious battle for his signature from another American side, Monterrey and Tigres of Mexico.
Mikel has been without a club since he left Trabzonspor in March. The 33-year-old left the club after he criticized the decision to allow the Super Lig to continue amidst the covid-19 pandemic.

Since he left in March, the former Nigerian international has been linked with several clubs including a move back to England. Brazilian side, Botafogo were reportedly close to signing the Nigerian.

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NWAKAEME celebrates Turkish Cup title with Trabzonspor

Anthony NWAKAEME (Trabzonspor, Turkey)

Nigerian striker, Anthony Nwakaeme made 29 Turkish Super Lig appearances for Trabzonspor during the 2019/20 season from which he scored eleven goals and made nine assists as his club finished second.

In 43 appearances across all competitions for Trabzonspor, the 31-year-old forward struck the back of the net on an impressive 14 occasions while also registering as much as eleven assists.

Nwakaeme also became the first player to score after the Turkish Super Lig resumed from the coronavirus break when he netted his 11th goal of the season to help 10-man Trabzonspor beat Goztepe 3-1.

Ogenyi ONAZI (Trabzonspor & Denizlispor, Turkey)

Nigerian defensive midfielder, Ogenyi Onazi was on the roster of two Turkish club-sides, Trabzonspor and Denizlispor during the recently-concluded 2019/20 Super Lig season.

Onazi made just three appearances for Trabzonspor but none was in the league. The 27-year-old had an assist in nine league games for Denizlispor after joining in January.

The Super Eagles midfielder who made a shock departure from Denizlispor is currently drawing the attention of Serbian side, Red Star Belgrade according to Transfer Markt.

Kayode OLARENWAJU (Gaziantep FK, Turkey)

Olarenwaju Kayode who was on loan from Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine netted ten goals and made six assists in 27 Super Lig outings for Gaziantep this term while picking up two bookings and two red cards.

The former Nigerian youth international whose market value is €2.5m according to Transfer Markt made 29 appearances across all competitions, netting same ten goals alongside seven assists for Gaziantep.

Azubuike OKECHUKWU (Istanbul Basaksehir)

Azubuike Okechukwu became a club champion for the first time in his career after helping Istanbul Basaksehir to win the Turkish Super Lig title during the 2019/20 season.

The midfielder who played on loan from Egyptian club, Pyramids FC made 17 league appearances for Basaksehir this season with an assist in his record while picking up one yellow card.
In 31 outings across all competitions for Basaksehir, the 23-year-old contributed two assists but was surprisingly dropped from the club’s new squad for the Europa League.

Shehu ABDULLAHI (Bursaspor, Turkey)

Abdullahi Shehu was a vital squad member at Bursaspor this season after making 33 Turkish TFL 1 appearances from which he scored four goals despite playing as a defender.

The 25-year-old defender has, however, parted ways with the Turkish club-side after making a departure on August 4 and that is according to Transfermarkt.

Francis UZOHO (Omonia Nicosia, Cyprus)

Super Eagles goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho made only five Cypriot league appearances for former club, Omonia Nicosia during the 2019/20 season as a result of a long-term injury.

The 21-year-old picked up a very serious knee injury back in October of the year 2019 during Nigeria’s international friendly affair with five-time world champions, Brazil.

Uzoho who played on loan at Omonia has, however, secured a move to fellow Cypriot league rivals, Apoel Nicosia on a deal that runs till 2023 after leaving Deportivo La Coruna.

Paul ONUACHU (KRC Genk, Belgium)

Lanky Nigerian striker, Paul Onuachu found the back of the net nine times and rendered one assist in 22 Belgian First Division A appearances for KRC Genk during the 2019/20 season.

In 29 outings across all competitions for Genk, the 26-year-old contributed ten goals and two assists but failed to hit the net in five matches in the UEFA Champions League.

Stephen ODEY (KRC Genk, Belgium)

Stephen Odey had a hugely disappointing debut campaign for KRC Genk after the striker failed to find the net in eleven Belgian First Division A appearances during the 2019/20 season.
Even in 13 outings in all competitions for Genk, the 22-year-old netted only two goals. The highlight of his season was when he scored in a 4-1 Champions League loss to Liverpool.

David OKEREKE (Club Brugge, Belgium)

David Okereke started as Antwerp denied Club Brugge the double by winning the Belgian Cup final 1-0 last Saturday in the first game in the country since the COVID-19 lockdown in March.

Okereke was replaced by Youssouph Badji in the 52nd minute. The forward scored eleven goals and rendered two assists in 34 appearances across all competitions for Brugge this season.

Emmanuel DENNIS (Club Brugge, Belgium)

Emmanuel Dennis was benched as Antwerp denied Club Brugge the double by winning the Belgian Cup final 1-0 last Saturday in the first game in the country since the COVID-19 lockdown in March.

The game was the only one held in the 2019-20 season which ended after the covid-19 outbreak with Brugge declared champions. Dennis had eight goals and two assists in 32 matches overall.

His transfer market value has risen to €16 million. Dennis won his second league championship with Brugge this past season which was cancelled as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The winger is expected to move in this transfer window amid lots of speculations. He has enjoyed a solid outing in Belgium, scoring 19 league goals in 76 appearances across three seasons.

His highlight performance in the outgone season was his brace against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League group stages, a game which Brugge drew 2-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

Cyriel DESSERS (Heracles Almelo, Holland)

Belgian-born Nigerian striker, Cyriel Dessers finished joint top-scorer of the Dutch Eredivisie with 15 goals in 25 games for Heracles Almelo during the 2019/20 season.

The 25-year-old’s consistent goal-scoring form eventually saw him making a move to Belgian First Division A club, KRC Genk where Paul Onuachu and Steven Odey also play.

Dessers is set to realize his dream of playing for Nigeria, having switched international allegiance and provides an intriguing competition for Napoli ace, Victor Osimhen.

Born to a Belgian father and Nigerian mother, Dessers made the squad for the 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sierra Leone that was postponed due to Covid-19.

Daniel AKPEYI (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa)

Nigerian international, Daniel Akpeyi was in impressive form for Kaizer Chiefs this season, keeping nine clean-sheets in 19 South African Premier Soccer League appearances.

Akpeyi also conceded only 15 goals and was booked four times before the 2019/20 South African top-flight season was cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.

Sadiq UMAR (Partizan Belgrade, Serbia)

Nigerian striker, Umar Sadiq was on fire during the season after netting twelve goals and contributing 13 assists in 24 Serbian Super Liga appearances for Partizan Belgrade.

After failing to fulfill his early potential, Sadiq reignited his career at Partizan where he scored 17 goals and rendered as many assists in 39 games across all competitions.

Partizan have raised their valuation of the striker after his impressive season. The Serbian side have revealed that they will not accept anything less than €20m for Sadiq.

Aside from Monaco, Lille is also another French club interested in the Nigerian. Lille is said to be looking to replace Victor Osimhen who has joined Napoli with his compatriot.

Chuba AKPOM (PAOK FC, Greece)

Since ending his age-long union with Arsenal in 2018, Chuba Akpom has gone on to better things, scoring crucial goals to help PAOK win the Greek Super League title last season.

This season, the 24-year-old who announced his intention to play for the Super Eagles in September 2019 has netted eight goals and made two assists in 33 league games for PAOK.
In 43 games in all competitions this term, he has ten goals and three assists. Akpom while previously representing England at youth levels found the net 21 times in 42 matches.

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