Pulse List 2016 Top 5 transfers involving Nigerian players this year

Several Nigerian players made big career moves during this calendar year.

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Ahmed Musa play

Ahmed Musa

(Leicester City FC)
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There was once a time when splashing huge money on Nigerian players was a huge gamble for foreign football teams; a gamble they rarely took.

But ever since Chelsea signed John Mikel Obi from Lyn Oslo for £16 million in 2006 after a giant tussle with Premier League rivals Manchester United, it seemed to have paved the way for Nigerian players to be strongly considered by European giants.

This year was no different, as several Nigerian players made big money moves to European clubs.

Here is a look at some of the biggest:

1. Ahmed Musa

Leicester City's midfielder Ahmed Musa (L) celebrates with defender Danny Simpson after scoring on October 22, 2016 play

Leicester City's midfielder Ahmed Musa (L) celebrates with defender Danny Simpson after scoring on October 22, 2016

(AFP/File)

 

After scoring 54 goals in 168 appearances for Russian giants CSKA Moscow who he joined in 2012, it was no surprise that Europe’s top clubs were trying to recruit the 23-year-old Nigerian winger to boost their team’s fortunes.

Surprise English Premier League champions Leicester City beat Tottenham Hotspurs to his signature for what was then a club record fee of £16.6 million.

He hasn’t quite hit the ground running yet for the champions, but he adds a great deal of variety to their attack with his electrifying pace and trickery.

2. Isaac Success

Isaac Success play

Isaac Success

( Getty Images)

 

This 20-year-old attacker’s brilliant season for Spanish club Granada did not go unnoticed when the transfer window opened after he was named the Granada Player of the Year for his six goals in the 2015/2016 season.

The Under-17 World Cup winner was snapped up by English club Watford for a club record fee of £12.5 million in a five-year deal that teams him up with Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo.

3. Anthony Ujah

  play (Omni Sports)

 

After scoring 14 goals in 35 appearances for German club Werder Bremen, the largely unknown 25-year-old Nigerian forward was signed by Chinese Super League club Liaoning Whowin for a rumoured €13m fee.

4. Kelechi Nwakali

Kelechi Nwakali play

Kelechi Nwakali set to join Arsenal

(Getty Images)

 

18-year-old Nigerian youngster Nwakali fulfilled the dream of many young footballers when he was snapped up by English Premier League side Arsenal in August after he was signed from the Diamond Football Academy in Nigeria on a five-year deal.

The Nigeria U20 captain was soon shipped off to Dutch side  MVV Maastricht on loan and recently scored his debut goal after 10 games in a 2-0 victory over De Graafschap.

5. Obafemi Martins

Obafemi Martins play

Obafemi Martins

(Getty Images )

 

After three seasons with Major League Soccer side Seattle Sounders, scoring 43 goals in 83 matches, former Super Eagles striker Obafemi Martins made a big money move to Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.

Details of the transaction were not disclosed due to league and club policy, but it’s believed to net Martins in the region of $6.6 million.

The side is Martins' ninth professional club since he left Nigeria’s shores for Italy to start his football career.

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