The Premier League, which is the most-watched league in Nigeria is back and there is obvious excitement among football enthusiasts in Nigeria.
Aside from the joy of watching their favourite clubs, a lot of Nigerians will also be keeping an eye on Nigerian players who ply their trades in England’s top flight.
But how have these players fared so far this season?
Alex Iwobi (Everton)
Alex Iwobi left his boyhood club Arsenal in the summer of 2019 with his status as a yet-to-be fulfilled potential still intact. With the pressure he faced at Arsenal due to scrutiny and unwarranted vilification, gone, Iwobi was expected to thrive at Everton.
He started well at Everton and fared much better anytime he played as a number 10 although his final decision making continued to be a problem. As the season went on, the Nigerian didn’t fare better as Everton struggled under Marco Silva.
He had an injury shortly after Silva was sacked and played just twice under new manager Carlo Ancellotti. With four goals and just one assist in 24 appearances in all competitions, Iwobi is running out of time to show he can fulfil his potential and start delivering.
Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City)
Since he first joined Leicester City in January 2017, Wilfred Ndidi has consistently been one of the best midfielders in the Premier League. It’s been the same this season for Ndidi who many argue has also gotten better.
Under Brendan Rodgers, the defensive midfielder continues to catch the eyes with his ball-winning abilities. Like he did in the previous season, Ndidi continues to rank first in interception in the whole of Europe and also remains one of the best tacklers in world football.
He has also shown marked improvements in his reading of the game. He has a goal to his name this season which came away at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea.
Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City)
It was turning out to be another uneventful season for Kelechi Iheanacho at Leicester City until he came on as a 62nd-minute substitute to assist and score the winner in a 2-1 home win over Everton.
He started getting more look after that game and in the next one, his first Premier League start of the season, he created a goal and scored another as Leicester City beat Aston Villa 4-1 away. He also went on to score three goals in three games against Aston Villa, and also goals against West Ham and Brentford.
In total, Iheanacho has scored three league goals in addition to two in the FA Cup and another four in the League Cup.
Isaac Success (Watford)
It’s been another season and Isaac Success has not been able to make anything out of his Watford career. He continues to be a fringe player with just five league games as a substitute. In the two domestic cup competitions, he made two appearances, all without a goal.
With nothing to offer, it is hard to see Success remain at Watford after this season.
Odion Ighalo (Manchester United)
Initially, a stop-gap signing for Manchester United, Odion Ighalo has endeared himself to the heart of many at the club that he has extended his stay until January 2021. ‘
His impact has not been in the Premier League where he has only played four games as a substitute. But in games against Chelsea and Manchester City, the 30-year-old impressed with his hold-up play. He started the move that led to United’s second goal against City.
It’s been different in the cup competitions where the Nigerian has scored four goals in three starts.