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The Top 10 Most Valuable Nigerian Footballers In 2023

The Top 10 Most Valuable Nigerian Footballers In 2023

The summer transfer season is coming to an end. The European clubs are finalizing their lineups, preparing for the new seasons that start in August. With players moving around across clubs and countries, this is the perfect time to appreciate the most valuable footballers Nigeria has given the world.

Many of the names below probably sound familiar – you may have stumbled upon them in the news or on the top betting apps in South Africa. So, let’s begin with the number 10:

10. Umar Sadiq

Hailing from Kaduna, Sadiq started his career as a kid with the local team Kusa Boys, after playing passionately on the streets. From there, he went all the way up to Football College Abuja. Upon participating in the Kvarnerska Rivijera youth tournament in Croatia, he became the top scorer and caught the eye of talent scouts from Italy.

He joined the youth academy of Serie A side Spezia in 2014, and after a few extensive loan spells, he moved to AS Roma. Several seasons and loans later, he moved to Partizan, a Serbian professional team, where he only stayed for a couple of months before moving to Spain. After two seasons with Almería, he ended up at his current team, Real Sociedad, in 2022.

According to Transfermarkt, Sadiq has a market value of EUR 18 million.

9. Kelechi Iheanacho

From Taye Academy, Iheanacho went directly to Manchester City in 2014, finishing his training there. This was the result of his performance at the U-17 World Cup, where he won the Golden Ball. He spent two seasons at Etihad before moving to Leicester in 2017 – he plays there as a forward ever since. His market value sits at EUR 18 million.

8. Gift Orban

Born and raised in Benue State, Orban left Nigeria early. His professional career begins in 2021 when he joined Augustine Ovie’s Bison FC. From there, he went to the Norwegian side Stabæk, first on loan, then permanently. There, he earned the title of “Young Player of the Year”, and helped the team ascend to Eliteserien. From there, he transferred to KAA Gent, where he scored 20 goals in 22 matches. Today, his market value stands at EUR 20 million, with big teams like Chelsea, Man Utd, and Tottenham interested in signing him.

7. Terem Moffi

Born and raised in Calabar, Moffi left the Buckswood Football Academy in 2017, at the age of 18, to play in Lithuania. He had visa issues, which kept him from playing for a long while. In 2019, he finally returned to the turf, moving from Lithuania to Belgium, and finally France. His performance at Lorient convinced Ligue 1 side Nice to sign him on a permanent contract this summer. His market value currently stands at EUR 20 million.

Related: 2023 WWC: Super Falcons Can Qualify From Tough Group — Payne

6. Samuel Chukwueze

Born in Amaokwe Ugba Ibeku, Samuel Chukwueze played with Future Hope, New Generation Academy, and Diamond Football Academy until the age of 18, when he was scouted by the Spanish club Villarreal. He finished his training there and plays with the club ever since as a winger. His market value currently stands at EUR 25 million.

5. Taiwo Awoniyi

Awoniyi played at a promotional soccer tournament in London in 2010, where he was spotted by Seyi Olofinjana, and invited to play at the Imperial Soccer Academy. From there, he went directly to Liverpool FC in 2015. But he never played a league game there – between 2015 and 2021, he was on loan at 7 teams around Europe, ending up signing with Bundesliga side Union Berlin in 2021. Last year, in turn, he returned to the Premier League, playing his first EPL games with Nottingham Forest. His current market value stands at EUR 25 million.

4. Wilfred Ndidi

Ndidi graduated from the Nath Boys Academy before being signed by Belgian side Genk in 2015. Two seasons and more than 60 league games later, the young defensive midfielder crossed the sea for England: he is currently playing with Leicester City in the Premier League and has a market value of EUR 25 million.

3. Alex Iwobi

Born in Lagos, Iwobi moved to England with his parents at the age of four. He attended Arsenal’s youth academy since the age of 8 and signed his first professional contract with the Gunners in 2015. In 2019, he left Emirates for Goodison Park – he has been playing with Everton ever since. His current market value stands at EUR 28 million.

2. Ademola Lookman

Born and raised in the UK, Lookman made his professional debut with Charlton Athletic after graduating from their youth academy. Since then, he played at several English teams, did a stint in the Bundesliga, and ended up in Serie A: he is currently playing as a winger for the Italian club Atalanta and has a market value of EUR 30 million.

1. Victor Osimhen

Osimhen needs no introduction: he is the most expensive African footballer ever. Born and raised in Lagos, he went from the Ultimate Strikers Academy to a striker position at Serie A champion Napoli in just a few years. According to Transfermarkt, his market value stands at EUR 120 million

Final words

Nigeria is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with a passion for football. It shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s pushing out talented players in such high numbers. Hopefully, more of the talents from Nigeria will be discovered in the coming years, getting the chance to play at some of the top clubs in the world. And then, our list of the most valuable Nigerian players will be even longer.


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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 1
  • I can’t agree less. But will include the man of the moment i.e. Boniface, to make it top 11.

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