The next Nigerian superstar – Soccernet NG
Weekend football is here again, and the usual suspects, the world-class superstars have donned the front cover of major websites, blogs, newspapers and magazines.
They are all gearing up for the games to come and are being closely watched by every major and minor football stakeholder.
African teams also have some of these superstars; Mohammed Salah of Egypt, Saido Mane and Eduoard Mendy of Senegal, Riyad Mahrez of Algeria, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon and Thomas Partey of Ghana. Sadly, there is no Nigerian in the mix, considering we are one of the giants on the continent.
We take a look at some of our players who can get into the mix in the nearest future.
Nigeria’s best bet of having a representative among the elite clubs is the Napoli forward, Osimhen is a player with the world at his feet to conquer.
Quick on his feet, agile in the air and a keen eye for goal, the 23-year old centre forward is a nightmare for any defender on his day.
He is adapting well to life in Naples, having battled with injuries in his debut season which he still had a decent return of 13 goals and assist in 27 appearances.
Osimhen has started this season with a bang, bagging 7 goals in 9 club appearances, seeking to justify the €70m that was forked out to bring him to Italy.
Several European giants have been casting admirable glances at him but given De Laurentiis shrewd business approach, it will take a mammoth fee to prize him away from Naples.
Another player looking to get that elite breakthrough is Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi. Ndidi is currently one of the best defensive midfielders in the game.
The Nigerian has been a constant figure in the midfield of the Foxes since his move from Belgian side, Genk. A fan favourite at the Kingspower stadium, the Nigerian has shown consistently he can provide a strong shield for the defence.
His stats in tackles and interceptions per game speaks for him and Leicester is actually a weaker side without him in the team.
Manchester United and Arsenal have been heavily linked. Italian and Spanish giants, Juventus and Real Madrid, are also rumoured to have him on their shopping list.
A move might be on the cards as early as the January transfer window. It will definitely be a move well–earned.
The golden boy of the 2013 FIFA U17 World Cup. Iheanacho has had his ups and downs in his career. Having starred originally under Manuel Pellegrini at Manchester City, he was moved on by Guardiola to Leicester City in a £25m deal.
A sluggish start to his Leicester career saw pundits and fans call the transfer into question, but a surge in form in the second half of last season gave renewed hope to the Leicester and Nigerian faithful that the attacker has found his scoring boots.
19 goals in 38 appearances last season, most of which came in the second part of the season has put him back on the radar of the big boys.
However, a slow start to the season, as a result of the arrival of Zambia’s forward, Patson Daka from RB Salzburg has threatened to derail his form. 2 goals in 8 appearances, of which he started only two, is not stellar, but as he has shown last season, he could get into his vibe soon and that big move might happen after all.
Honourable mentions must be given to the likes of Genk’s Paul Onuachu, Saleritana’s Simy Nwankwo, Union Berlin’s Taiwo Awoniyi, CSKA Moscow’s Chidera Ejuke, FC Porto’s Zaido Sanusi, Brentford’s Frank Onyeka and Villareal’s Samuel Chukwueze, who are all flying the Nigerian flag high in their respective clubs.