The English Premier League is one of the most popular domestic football leagues in the world. The English league is an absolute beauty to watch with the best footballers of all time playing their trade in it. It is the most-watched league in the world including Nigeria. Almost every street in the nation has either a viewing center or a bar where the EPL is shown live. The EPL has garnered a huge fan base and following in the most populous black nation over the years. This large following can be attributed to the talented players produced by the nation. Many of these players play for different popular teams in the league.
Here are the top 10 Nigerian players in the EPL
10. Jay Jay Okocha
Jay Jay Okocha has been dubbed in many quarters as the most talented Nigerian footballer of his generation. Although Jay Jay’s stint in the EPL was very short, he still dazzled the fans of the EPL with his trickery and skill when he joined Bolton Wanders in 2002. In his first season in the club, he scored many crucial goals to lift his club from the relegation zone. He also led Bolton to the League Cup final.
9. Efan Ekoku
Efan Ekoku, one of the players who represented Nigeria at the FIFA World Cup and AFCON 1994 was already a famous player in the EPL, years before the popularity of the league in Nigeria. He signed for Norwich in 1993 and went on to score the club’s first-ever goal in European competitions when he scored against Bayern Munchen in the UEFA Cup. He was the club’s highest goal scorer in the 1995/96 season. He is also the 3rd highest scoring Nigerian in the EPL.
8. Joseph Yobo
Joseph Yobo signed for Everton in 2002 under manager, David Moyes. Yobo impressed so much under Moyes as a right-back that he attracted the interest of Arsenal in 2006. He has over 200 apps for the club. Yobo captained Everton several times before he moved to Fenerbache.
7. Osaze Odemwingie
The EPL player of the month award has been won by only three Nigerian players. But only one of those players has won it thrice and that is Osaze. He had a short but impactful stint in the EPL. Osaze signed for West Brom in 2010 and went on to score 15 goals. He scored 11 goals in the following season, influencing the Hawthorns to many incredible wins. He later signed for Stoke City.
6. Celestine Babayaro
Celestine Babayaro signed for Chelsea at the age of 18 and went on to accumulate over 200 apps for the club. He won an FA Cup with the club and later moved on to Newcastle United in 2005.
5. Victor Moses
Victor Moses played for a number of English clubs such as Wigan, Westham, Stoke City, Liverpool, and Chelsea. His most successful stint was playing for Chelsea where he won the Europa League in 2013 and the EPL in the 2016/2017 season.
4. Wilfred Ndidi
Since signing for Leicester City in 2017, Ndidi has gone on to become one of the best defensive midfielders in the EPL and in the world.
3. Yakubu Ayegbeni
Are though Nigerians are not too fond of Ayegbeni for missing a sitter in the 2010 World Cup against South Korea he is no doubt a very consistent goal scorer. He performed excellently well for Portsmouth, Blackburn, Everton, and Middlesbrough.
2. Mikel Obi
Mikel is regarded by many Nigerians as one of the greatest. He went ahead to win so many trophies for Chelsea including 4 FA Cups, 2 EPL, a Europa League, a Champions League, and 2 League Cups.
1. Kanu Nwankwo
Kanu Nwankwo is arguably the best player to ever come out of Nigeria. He won two EPL trophies and two FA Cups with Arsenal. He also played a huge part in the unbeaten season of Arsenal. Kanu also played for West Brom and Portsmouth.