All players on this list played for the Super Eagles in the year under review with club performance being the other criterion.
It would be impossible to end 2012 without giving credits to the Nigerian players who made us proud this year.
With Nigerian players scattered all over the world, a host caught the eyes with their performances both for their clubs and the national team.
As we round up the year, Pulse Sports write on the top 10 Nigerian players of 2019.
As the national team is oftentimes a collection of the best talent any country has to offer, all players on this list played for the Super Eagles in the year under review with club performance being the other criterion.
10. Paul Onuachu
Paul Onuachu finished last season with 18 goals for FC Midtjylland, the most of any Nigerian player. No Nigerian player outscored Onuachu for three years and it was only a matter of time before he got his Super Eagles to call up.
Onuachu didn’t disappoint at first, scoring in his Super Eagles debut in a 1-0 win over Egypt in March 2019.
That was, however, the only thing of note he has done in national colours. He was underwhelming at the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) and hasn't been able to impress at Genk, yet, the 25-year-old has done enough to make this list.
9. Alex Iwobi
Another year and Iwobi is yet to hit the level expected of him when he first emerged. From Arsenal to Everton, the Nigeria international has left one inconsistent club for another which has affected his development.
Still, there is a talent in Iwobi which many believe would thrive at the right club. For the national team, he has been better, playing all seven of Nigeria’s games at AFCON 2019 where he scored once.
8. Oghenekaro Etebo
Oghenekaro Etebo was the only bright spot in Stoke City' 2018/2019 season that saw them finish 16th in the English Championship. The Stoke City fans’ favourite impressed with his high-octane performance in the middle for the Potters. He ended the season as Stoke City’s Player of the Year before he joined the Super Eagles to finish third at AFCON 2019.
7. Kenneth Omeruo
Omeruo was the best Nigerian defender for the better part of the year following his consistent performance for Leganes and the Super Eagles at AFCON 2019.
He was solid last season for Leganes where he was on loan from Chelsea and was duly given a permanent contract. This season, however, the Nigerian has struggled due to injuries.
He was one of Super Eagles best players at AFCON 2019 after he regained his place in the XI following an impressive season at Leganes. He scored once in six games to help Nigeria finish third in Egypt.
6. Odion Ighalo
2019 was the year that Ighalo corrected his Super Eagles legacy with five goals to finish as the highest goalscorer at AFCON 2019 where Nigeria finished third.
His form started before the tournament as he also finished the highest goalscorer in the qualifiers. But it was in Egypt that the striker made sure he left the national team on a high.
5. Ola Aina
Ola Aina is the best Nigerian full-back at the moment. In his second spell at Torino, Aina has continued to improve which has made him indispensable in the Super Eagles.
He was impressive in his debut season in Italy which earned him a permanent contract with Torino.
For the Super Eagles, he played five games and provided a fantastic assist as Nigeria finished third at AFCON 2019.
4. William Troost-Ekong
William Troost-Ekong joined Serie A side Udinese for the upward trajectory his career needed and he has been a fine signing for the Italian side. Troost-Ekong put in a fine performance in his debut season with the club and was given a contract extension in his second season with the Black and Whites.
For the Super Eagles, he has been ever-present in the heart of the defence. From AFCON 2019 qualifiers to the main tournament and the games after that, Troost-Ekong has grown in status to become one of the leaders in the national team.
3. Samuel Chukwueze
After his breakthrough at Villarreal in 2018, Chukwueze was the hottest prospect in Nigerian football going into 2019 and he didn’t disappoint.
He caught the eyes with his exciting performances for Villarreal in La Liga especially in games against Barcelona and Real Madrid.
At AFCON 2019, he played six out of Nigeria’s seven games to help the Super Eagles to a third-place finish.
He hasn’t been on the level many expect him to be this season but with his talent and skill set, he has the potential to be close to a world-beater if not world-class.
2. Victor Osimhen
After a few snags, Victor Osimhen has gotten his career back on track to the level he was expected to be after he emerged at the 2015 FIFA U17 World Cup.
It was in Belgium with Charleroi that Osimhen got his lift, finishing the 2018/2019 season with 20 goals in all competition to be named the club’s Player of the Season.
This season, he has gotten even better after a move to Lille where he has scored 11 goals in all competitions including two in the Champions League.
He didn’t feature much for the Super Eagles at AFCON 2019, managing just one game but has since scored four goals in four games for the national team since becoming the undisputed first-choice striker.
1. Wilfred Ndidi
Wilfred Ndidi continues to perform at a level above all the other players on this list. It was another successful year for the defensive midfielder who has gotten critical acclaim for his works in the centre of the pitch for Leicester City.
For what he does, Ndidi is the only Nigerian player who has an argument to be regarded as a world-class player in his position.
He finished last season with the most tackles and interceptions in Europe’s top five and he has continued to perform at that level this season to help Leicester City who are currently only behind Liverpool on the Premier League table.
He wasn’t this influential for the Super Eagles of Nigeria at AFCON 2013, but his abilities were still on show.