Following the transfer of Super Eagles midfielder, Peter Oghenekaro Etebo from Stoke City, Watford’s current number of Nigerian Internationals has risen to five.
With this latest move by the club, it does seem that the Hornets hierarchy has something for players of Nigerian descent, hence leading EaglesTracker to take a look at ‘Team Nigeria’ that Watford is gladly building at the Vicarage Road.
7: DAPO MEBUDE
Nigeria-eligible striker Dapo Mebude on Friday completed a two-year transfer move to the Hornets making him the latest player of Nigerian descent to join their Nigerian entourage.
The 19-year-old was released from Glasgow Rangers in June. He spent the 2020/2021 season on loan at Queen of the South FC, where he scored two goals in eleven appearances. Although having represented Scotland at various youth levels, Mebude is still available for selection for the Super Eagles.
6: JOSEPH HUNGBO
21-year-old Hungbo has been a member of Watford’s Nigerian connection since the summer of 2019 after he was released by Crystal Palace.
The fifth of six children born to a Nigerian father and a Togolese mother who emigrated to London from Nigeria. Hungbo spent part of last season on a short-term loan at National League side, Aldershot Town, before returning to feature in 6 games for Watford in all competitions.
5: OGHENEKARO ETEBO
Etebo is the latest Super Eagles player to join the Hornets ahead of their 2021-22 English Premier League season.
The 25-year-old has been at Stoke City since 2018, playing 45 matches in the Championship. Following loan spells with Getafe and Galatasaray, Etebo is set to feature in the Premier League for the first time in his career.
4: EMMANUEL DENNIS BONAVENTURE
The first player of Nigerian descent to join Xisco Munoz’s side this summer after being snapped up from Belgian top-flight side Club Brugge. Dennis would be looking to tap some inspiration from his feat in the Champions League in 2019, when he became the third Nigerian to score against Real Madrid in a European club competition.
Bonaventure has represented Nigeria at under-23 level and senior level. Can the 23-year old shine in Europe’s top league ?
3: TOM DELE-BASHIRU
Although yet to feature for Nigeria at senior level, Ayotomiwa Dele-Bashiru featured and scored for Nigeria at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland. He has also represented Nigeria’s U23s, following his inclusion in the squad for the 2019 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations.
Following his move to the Vicarage Road after his contract with Manchester City expired in 2019, Dele-Bashiru has featured three times for Watford. He appeared to be breaking into the side last season, before suffering an ACL injury. He will be looking to impress for Watford in the Premier League.
2: WILLIAM TROOST-EKONG
Perhaps, the most familiar Nigerian in the Hornets’ nest. Troost-Ekong boasts of 48 appearances for Nigeria’s Super Eagles and 32 for Watford. He is the current vice-captain of Nigeria’s national team.
The 27-year-old centre back joined Watford from Italian Serie A side, Udinese on a five-year deal in September 2020. Troost-Ekong has since scored once for the Hornets.
1: ISAAC SUCCESS
The longest-serving Nigerian at the Watford currently. Having joined in 2017, Success has featured for Watford in the Premier League, the Championship and the EFL Cup.
With 71 games played and 6 goals scored across all competitions for Watford, the 25-year-old Super Eagles forward would be looking forward to partnering with his new Nigerian teammates in the Premier League. He last played with one – Odion Ighalo, in the 2016-17 season.