5 Super Eagles stars who played for Chelsea under Roman Abramovich

Five Nigerian footballers have played for Chelsea during Roman Abramovich’s 19-year reign.

John Obi Mikel (L) and Roman Abramovich (R)

Hundreds of players have worn the royal blue of Chelsea since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003 but only five of them are Nigerians.

As the Abramovich era draws to a close in his 19th year, these are the five Super Eagles players who featured for Chelsea in that period.

Ex-Super Eagles international, Celestine Babayaro joined Chelsea in 1997, long before Abramovich even came into the picture and was the starting left-back for the majority of his time at the club.

Babayaro was ultimately a victim of the improved ambitions of the Abramovich era as he became deemed surplus to requirements and only played 10 league games in the next season and a half combined before he was sold to Newcastle in January 2005.

Babayaro was part of the Dream Team that won Nigeria the gold medal in Atlanta 1996 as well as the UEFA Cup Winners Cup and UEFA Super Cup both with Chelsea in 1998 and the FA Cup and Community Shields in 2000.

By far the most successful Nigerian in Chelsea history, John Obi Mikel is also the most expensive one as he joined Chelsea for £16 million in 2006 following a lengthy legal dispute involving Manchester United and his former club, Lyn Oslo.

Mikel went on to become an important player for Chelsea where he spent 10-and-half seasons where he won two Premier League titles, three FA Cups and one EFL Cup, Community Shield, Europa League and Champions League titles each.

Mikel made 372 appearances for Chelsea, all in the Abramovich era and proved to be one of the most successful Chelsea players in recent memory.

Chelsea signed Kenneth Omeruo in January 2012 from Standard Liege for an undisclosed fee and instantly loaned the then-18-year-old to Ado Den Haag to see out the season.

That would turn out to be the story of his surprisingly long Chelsea career as Omeruo was sent out on seven loan spells to five different clubs in his seven-year stay at Chelsea.

The Nigerian centre-back never played a single first-team game for the club till he was eventually sold in 2019 to Leganes.

Victor Moses was the third Nigerian player to sign for Chelsea under Roman Abramovich and the fourth overall to play at the club in that period.

Moses joined Chelsea in August 2012 for £9.4 million from Wigan and went on to spend nine years as a Chelsea player even though he only played three seasons at the club.

The Nigerian winger was loaned out to six different clubs but still did enough to contribute to a Premier League title, two Europa Leagues and one FA Cup. He made 128 appearances, scoring 18 goals and 13 assists in blue before getting sold permanently to Spartak Moscow

Ola Aina also joined Chelsea in 2012 as an under-11 player and worked his way through the youth ranks before getting called up to the senior team by Jose Mourinho for the 2015/16 preseason.

He would only go on to play six games for the Chelsea first team before getting loaned out to Hull City and Torino who then signed him permanently in 2019.

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