PREMIER LEAGUE

Who will be the first Nigerian to enter the PL Hall of Fame?

Exploring the possibility of a Nigerian player getting inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.

Nigeria's most likely candidates for the Premier League Hall of Fame

The Premier League Hall of Fame is a prestigious recognition of the best players to ever play in the English top-flight, selected via fan and panel voting.

Eight players were inducted into the Hall of Fame when it first launched last year, Thierry Henry, Alan Shearer, David Beckham, Dennis Bergkamp, Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard were the class of 2021.

Sergio Aguero, Didier Drogba, Vincent Kompany, Peter Schmeichel, Paul Scholes and Ian Wright have become the latest inductees, joining Wayne Rooney and Patrick Vieira in the class of 2022.

Ivorian legend Didier Drogba becomes the first African inductee which makes one wonder (from a Nigerian perspective) how long before we see the first Nigerian inductee and who are the likely candidates if any.

If there will ever be a Nigerian player in the Premier League Hall of Fame, it is more than likely to be the country’s highest scorer in the competition.

Yakubu Aiyegneni scored 95 Premier League goals for Portsmouth which is the fifth-most among Africans and the highest by a Nigerian.

With 252 appearances for Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Everton and Blackburn and he achieved cult-hero status at all of these clubs.

Yakubu even had his own chant, fans endeared themselves to him by acknowledging his goalscoring ability, “Feed the Yak and he will score”.

Shola Ameobi and Nwankwo Kanu are the only two Nigerians to have played more Premier League games than Yakubu so far.

Kanu Nwankwo has a shot at the Premier League Hall of Fame because of his performances for Arsenal, West Brom and Portsmouth.

Kanu made 272 Premier League appearances for three clubs spanning 12 seasons and actually won the title on two occasions with Arsenal.

54 goals and 32 assists for an attacker in that period as well as multiple iconic moments including that hattrick against Chelsea, Kanu Nwankwo may well be a Premier League Hall of Famer in the near future.

The third and final of the likely Nigerian inductees is John Obi Mikel who spent a trophy-laden decade at Chelsea where he won two Premier League titles.

However impressive Mikel’s CV reads, his career from an individual standpoint doesn’t necessarily scream Hall of Fame as he was a bit-part player for large portions of his time at Stamford Bridge.

The Nigerian defensive midfielder still went on to make 249 Premier League appearances for Chelsea which is pretty impressive and further strengthens his case.

Topics:

More from category

Recommended articles

Super Eagles star Emmanuel Dennis sends a message to Watford after his exit

Super Eagles star Emmanuel Dennis sends a message to Watford after his exit

Zaidu Sanusi gets first clean sheet, helps Porto steal late win at Vizela

Zaidu Sanusi gets first clean sheet, helps Porto steal late win at Vizela

Antonio Conte accuses Thomas Tuchel of being aggressive after touchline spat

Antonio Conte accuses Thomas Tuchel of being aggressive after touchline spat

Okereke scores on league debut, Dessers blanks as Fiorentina downs 10-man Cremonese 3-2

Okereke scores on league debut, Dessers blanks as Fiorentina downs 10-man Cremonese 3-2

Everybody knows what is going on - Thomas Tuchel on referee Anthony Taylor after Tottenham match

Everybody knows what is going on - Thomas Tuchel on referee Anthony Taylor after Tottenham match

Reactions as Sadio Mane shines in Bayern Munich's 2-0 win against Wolfsburg

Reactions as Sadio Mane shines in Bayern Munich's 2-0 win against Wolfsburg