UNDER THE RADAR

Starting XI of superb Nigerian players you probably did not know about

These 11 Nigerian players are shining in Europe right now but remain relatively unknown.

Obscure Nigerian stars

Nigerian players have excelled in European football this season with the likes of Victor Osimhen, Joe Aribo, Wilfried Ndidi and many more leading the way in the top leagues.

But beyond the mainstream attention, there are a good number of Nigerian footballers currently performing at a high level but without the deserved recognition.

Here is a starting XI of Nigerian players you probably do not know about despite their heroics so far this season.

Israel-based 21-year-old Adebayo Adeleye has established himself as the undisputed number one for Hapoel Jerusalem in the first division.

Adeleye has kept four clean sheets and conceded 33 goals in 22 appearances so far this season, decent enough for a player in a relegation-battling team.

All the talk of Nigerians in the Scottish Premiership borders around the Rangers’ trio of Joe Aribo, Leon Balogun and Calvin Bassey while the outstanding Ayo Obileye goes under the radar.

But there is reason to believe Obileye might just be the best Nigerian in Scottish football at the moment. With six goals in 34 games across all competitions this season, the centre-back has been a massive goal-threat as well as a solid defensive rock for Livingston this season.

Often described as the 'African Sergio Ramos', 27-year-old Obileye has been a major reason for Livingston punching above their weight so far this season.

Young 22-year-old centre-back, Joseph Olowu has been a mainstay in the Doncaster defence as they bid to avoid relegation from the English League One.

Olowu has scored four goals in 25 appearances so far this season and consistently puts up high-calibre performances which suggest he might not remain in the English third tier for long.

Having been touted for some time now as the next big thing in German football, Jordan Torunarigha development at Hertha Berlin has not gone quite as expected due to injuries.

Now on loan at Genk in the Belgian Pro League, the 24-year-old defender is back to playing top-level football consistently.

Felix Agu has been a symbol of versatility for Werder Bremen in the German second division, playing as a right wing-back, left and right midfielder, left and right-winger. In 18 appearances so far this season, the 22-year-old right back has provided three assists in return.

Al Hassan Yusuf has been impressive for Royal Antwerp in his first season since joining from Swedish club, Goteborg. The 22-year-old has been a regular for Antwerp in their title challenge so far having played 28 games, contributing two goals and assists each.

Midfielder Raphael Onyedika has been a mainstay in the Midtjylland squad since stepping up to replace compatriot Frank Onyeka who departed for Brentford last summer.

Onyedika has played 33 games this season in all competitions returning four goals and an assist to complement his terrific performances.

Former Manchester United academy graduate, Tosin Kehinde is growing into a fine player at Danish club, Randers where he has played 29 games this season, scoring two goals and assisting seven.

The 23-year-old is capable of playing multiple positions and has developed good chemistry with his compatriot, Stephen Odey in the Randers attack.

20-year-old winger Ibrahim Aliyu has been playing great for Lokomotiva Zagreb in the Croatian first division so far, forming a reputation as a bag of tricks with a dangerous left foot.

Aliyu has scored five and assisted four goals in 25 appearances this season and can only get better with more game time.

After failing to impress in the Belgian Pro League with Beerschot V.A, Blessing Eleke has found a new lease of life on loan at Genclerbirligi where he has scored seven goals in 19 games in the Turkish second division.

29-year-old Yusuf Otubanjo is killing it in the Armenian first division with FC Ararat-Armenia for whom he has scored 10 goals and notched three assists in 18 games.

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