Nigerian players have always made a mark for themselves in Europe in recent years. There was Yakubu Aiyegbeni, who scored a lot of goals for Everton, Joseph Yobo, who was a wall in the heart of Everton's defense. Kanu Nwankwo was also influential for Arsenal, Jay-Jay Okocha, who did wonders with the ball at PSG and Bolton.
This 2021/22 season will not be different for Nigerians that play in Europe. These players will want to give a performance that will earn them a call-up into the Super Eagles team that will play at the Nations Cup next year.
This season will see a lot of Nigerian players who will be in action when the leagues start and we will look at five Nigerians who play their football in Europe and give brief detail on what we should expect from them.
(1) Kelechi Iheanacho ( Leicester City/ England)
Fans in Leicester City and back home in Nigeria have blasted the Nigerian forward for his lack of goal-scoring form over the past seasons during his time at Manchester City and his early days at Leicester.
The Nigerian answered his critics by picking up his form in the middle of last season, by scoring goals that ensured his team a place in the final of the FA Cup and also a fifth position spot in the League.
Iheanacho has started the season where he left off, after scoring the winner against Manchester City in the Community Shield. The Nigerian will hope he gets more goals when he is on the pitch.
(2) Simi Nwankwo (Crotone, Italy)
The Nigerian is a definition of consistency; he has scored over 20 goals for his club in the past two seasons. Crotone will hope Simi continues in this excellent form coming into the new season.
(3) Paul Onuachu (Genk, Belgium)
Onuachu emerged as the best player in the 2020/21 Belgian league. The Nigerian scored 33 goals in 35 games for Genk. This form is one that will keep defenders of other clubs worried whenever they play against Genk this season.
(4) Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England)
Some fans have termed Ndidi the best defensive midfielder in the Premier League. The Super Eagles player has been consistent for both club and country. He sealed his spot in the league since joining the foxes in 2017.
He was also part of the Leicester squad that won the FA Cup and the Community Shield. Ndidi will no doubt continue in his fine form going into the new season.
(5) William Troost-Ekong (Watford, England)
The Super Eagles defender was key in Watford's promotion to the Premier League. The Nigerian is not only known for his on-the-pitch abilities; he has leadership skills that will be needed when the season starts for Watford.