In the 2023/24 season, Nigerian footballers have been making headlines throughout varied leagues, showcasing their distinctive expertise and proving themselves as key gamers for his or her respective groups. From Serie A to the Premier League, from the Bundesliga to the Saudi Girls’s League, these Nigerian athletes have been nothing in need of exceptional.
PUNCH Sports activities Further’s Peter Akinbo takes a more in-depth have a look at a number of the standout performers who’ve soared to new heights and are making their marks this season
Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen, Bundesliga)
Leverkusen’s greatest signing of the summer time and probably the very best signing in Europe crushed maybe by solely Jude Bellingham, Boniface has been in wonderful type for Bayer Leverkusen, scoring 10 objectives in 13 appearances throughout all competitions.
Essentially the most in-form Nigerian in Europe, Boniface has been probably the most thrilling teenager within the Bundesliga, choosing up the Bundesliga Rookie of the Month awards for August and September.
Victor Osimhen (Napoli, Serie A)
Osimhen has been in wonderful type for Napoli, scoring six objectives in eight appearances within the Serie A. He has picked up his type from final season when he secured the Italian league golden boot award.
The 24-year-old has solid a popularity as one among Europe’s most fun strikers after scoring 26 objectives in 32 league video games final season as Napoli secured their first Serie A title since 1990.
Though, sidelined with an damage he suffered on worldwide responsibility in a pleasant towards Saudi Arabia in October, the Nigeria worldwide continues to be joint-second on the Serie A topscorers record behind solely Lautaro Martinez who has scored 11.
Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest, Premier League)
Awoniyi has been a revelation for Nottingham Forest, with 5 aim contributions in eight appearances within the English Premier League. The 26-year-old has scored three objectives and likewise chipped in with two assists.
Final season, Awoniyi was pivotal because the Tough Bushes prevented relegation scoring 10 objectives and offering one help in 27 appearances. The ahead has hit the bottom operating once more this season and is proving to be a precious asset for Nottingham Forest.
Akor Adams (Montpellier Herault, Ligue 1)
Adams has been a standout performer for Montpellier Herault and has hit the bottom operating in Ligue 1 since his €4.5m transfer from Lillestrom in the summertime.
With seven objectives in 10 league appearances, the previous Nigeria U-20 striker is second solely to France captain, Kylian Mbappe, who comfortably sits on the high of the scoring chart with 10 objectives from 9 appearances.
With Nigeria initiating their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers subsequent month, towards Lesotho and Zimbabwe, and star striker Osimhen recovering from an damage, there’s a risk for Adams to obtain his first call-up from Eagles coach Jose Peseiro.
Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester Metropolis, Championship)
Ndidi has been a constant performer for Leicester Metropolis, taking part in a vital position within the workforce’s midfield. Taking part in in a extra superior No.8 position below Enzo Maresca has seen the Nigerian midfielder turn out to be extra of a inventive power for the Foxes.
After 12 league video games this season, Ndidi has contributed 4 objectives (three assists and a aim) for the Foxes. Solely Kiernan Dewsbury-Corridor, Kelechi Iheanacho, Jamie Vardy and Kasey McAteer have extra aim contributions than the previous Genk midfielder this season.
Within the EFL Cup, Ndidi additionally contributed to a few objectives in three video games with two objectives and one help.
Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester Metropolis, Championship)
Iheanacho has been in wonderful type for Leicester Metropolis, scoring six objectives in 17 appearances throughout all competitions. He has additionally contributed two assists and has been a key participant for the workforce.
Final season, Iheanacho scored 5 objectives and supplied 5 assists in 28 appearances within the Premier League because the Foxes had been relegated. Nevertheless, he has been a vibrant spark within the workforce main their return to the English topflight.
Moses Simon (Nantes FC, Ligue 1)
Simon has been a key participant for FC Nantes this season, with two objectives and 5 assists in 10 appearances within the French Ligue 1. The 28-year-old was named Nantes’ Participant of the Month for October after he received a vote by the followers of the Canaries.
With 39.67% of the votes, Simon noticed off competitors from Florent Mollet (28.6%), Pedro Chirivella (20.75%) and Marcus Coco ((10.98%).) to assert Nantes’ Participant of the Month prize.
In response to stats from the official web site of the Ligue 1, Simon has notched 5 assists in 805 minutes of motion, the very best within the French high flight this time period, along with Florian Sotoca (Lens) and Caio Henrique (Monaco).
Reward Orban (Gent, Belgian First Division A)
Orban has been spectacular for Gent, scoring seven objectives in 17 appearances within the Belgian Professional League and has been nominated within the Younger Participant of the 12 months class of the upcoming CAF Awards.
The 21-year-old ahead joined the Buffalos from Norwegian lower-tier facet Stabaek in January, and he has been a revelation since then. Orban has registered 27 objectives and two assists in 38 video games for Gent.
Alex Iwobi (Fulham, Premier League)
Iwobi has been a constant performer for Fulham, taking part in a vital position within the workforce’s midfield. He has made 9 appearances within the Premier League this season with two for Everton earlier than his deadline day transfer to the Coattagers.
Iwobi has proven vibrant sparks along with his dribbling and aggressive ball-carrying and has additionally discovered the again of the web as soon as in two Carabao Cup appearances.
Tobias Lawal (LASK, Austrian Bundesliga)
Lawal has been very spectacular for his Austrian Bundelisga facet, LASK. Regardless of not having the very best of safety in defence, Lawal has saved six clear sheets whereas conceding solely seven objectives from 12 video games.
The 23-year-old stands at 1.95m with nice agility, command within the air and the power to make use of his toes very nicely. These strengths got here to the fore in a 3-1 Europa League loss to Liverpool the place he had a really first rate exhibiting.
Noah Atubolu (Freiburg, Bundesliga)
Atubolu has been a constant performer for Freiburg, taking part in a vital position because the primary shotstopper. General he’s featured in 12 matches this season, conceding 19 objectives and protecting 4 clear sheets.
Bundesliga.com hints at similarities between the up-and-coming goalie with Germany nice Manuel Neuer.
“We’re not saying the Freiburg teenager is the ‘subsequent Manuel Neuer’ — the Bayern Munich and Germany goalkeeper-revolutionary is arguably the sport’s greatest-ever in his place — however there are some similarities,” the web site said.
Ashleigh Plumptre (Al-Ittihad, Saudi Girls’s League)
Plumptre has been a standout performer for Al-Ittihad as among the best gamers within the defence for the Saudi facet.
She started her Ittihad profession in gorgeous fashion, scoring a hat-trick on debut towards Dammam’s Japanese Flames FC. Three video games into the season, Ittihad sit high of the eight-team desk after drawing their second match 2-2 with Al Qadsiah and successful their third sport on Friday 1-0 over Al Shabab.
She grew to become the fourth Nigerian to attain a hat-trick in Saudi after Rashidi Yekini, Ahmed Musa, and Odion Ighalo.
Michelle Alozie (Houston Sprint, NWSL)
Alozie has been in excellent type for Houston Sprint, scoring 4 objectives in 17 appearances within the Nationwide Girls’s Soccer League. She has additionally contributed one help and has been a key participant for the workforce.
Alozie’s abilities took centre stage at 2023 FIFA Girls’s World Cup. The 26-year-old was a part of a Nigerian workforce that defeated Australia and outplayed finalists England within the spherical of 16 stage although they ultimately misplaced on penalties to the Three Lionesses.
Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC, Division 1 Female)
Nnadozie has been one of many shining stars for Paris FC in aim making penalty saves throughout all competitions. She has made 5 appearances in Division 1 Female this season and has saved three penalties this season.
In October, Nnnadozie helped Paris FC make historical past after guiding them to the group stage of the UEFA Girls’s Champions League for the primary time with a formidable efficiency to knock out final season’s runners-up Wolfsburg 2-0.
The 22-year-old shots-stopper denied Dominique Janssen from the spot because the French facet held on to the win.
In September additionally, within the first spherical of the playoffs, Nnadozie additionally beautifully stopped two spot kicks within the shootout win towards Arsenal.
Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico de Madrid, Primera Division)
Ajibade has been in wonderful type for Atletico de Madrid and the Nigeria nationwide workforce. Ajibade captained the Tremendous Falcons over the 2 legs of the Olympic qualifiers towards Ethiopia, and she or he didn’t disappoint.
The 23-year-old scored the equaliser to earn Nigeria a 1-1 draw within the first leg. She then scored a brace within the second leg to safe a 4-0 win as Nigeria superior within the qualifiers.
In August, Ajibade was additionally pivotal as Atletico Madrid beat AC Milan Female 1-0 to emerge victorious within the Girls’s Cup ultimate. Ajibade supplied the essential help to Santos in added time, who clinched the title for Atletico Madrid.