2021 was a year filled with happy memories for some Nigerian Footballers.
Samuel Chukwueze won the UEFA Europa League with Villarreal. Asisat Oshoala did the treble (UEFA Women’s Champions League, Spanish Primera Iberdrola and Spanish Copa de la Reina) with Barcelona. Wilfred Ndidi & Iheanacho won the English FA Cup with Leicester amongst many others.
Who do we expect to shine in 2022 ? Who is on the verge of a breakout year ? Here are our Top 10 Nigerian Players to Watch in 2022.
Back from the international break and It’s been an amazing return to club football with impressive displays from many Nigerian players.
Here’s the EaglesTracker Nigerian Team of the Week for Oct 15-18, 2021.
GOALKKEEPER – CHIAMAKA NNADOZIE
In goal, 20-year-old Chiamaka Nnadozie proved why she’s the number one shot-stopper for Paris FC in the French Division 1 Féminine.
Nnadozie has been particularly impressive this season, with performances reminiscent of her title winning NWPL campaign with Rivers Angels.
Her brilliance in goal over the weekend was capped with a clean sheet as Paris FC demolished placed Soyaux-Charente 4-0.
Nnadozie’s superb form has helped Paris FC to occupy third spot on the league table. They sit only three points behind joint leaders, Lyon and Paris Saint Germain.
LEFT BACK – JAMILU COLLINS
Jamilu Collins makes the cut as our left-back of the week. His German Bundesliga 2 team, SC Paderborn played out a 1-1 draw against Jahn Regensburg.
Collins played all 90 minutes of the match. He completed three tackles, and constantly made it difficult for the opposition attacker.
CENTRE BACK – GODSWILL EKPOLO
On the right side of centre back, Godswill Ekpolo deputises. He put in a fantastic display in BK Hacken’s 4-0 victory on Monday, making 4 clearances and 4 tackles.
CENTRE BACK – SEMI AJAYI
West Brom’s Semi Ajayi partners with Ekpolo to complete our pairing at the heart of defence.
Ajayi was part of a three-man Baggies defence that earned a ha-fought 1-0 victory over Birmingham in the EFL Championship. The win sees West Brom maintain second spot on the table, as they chase immediate promotion back to the Premier League.
RIGHT BACK – VICTOR MOSES
The industrious Victor Moses was in good form for Spartak Moscow this past weekend. He played all 90 minutes as his side came from behind to earn a late draw against Dynamo Moscow.
Seventh place Spartak have been struggling for form, but Moses has remained largely impressive so far this season.
CENTRE MIDFIELD – SAMSON TIJANI
19-year-old Samson Tijani makes our pick for the left side of centre midfield. His first Team of the Week appearance in 2021/2022.
Tijani did the dirty job in Liefering’s midfield, making 6 tackles and 3 interceptions as they beat LASK Juniors 2-0.
CENTRE MIDFIELD – AYOTOMIWA DELE-BASHIRU
Tom Dele-Bashiru takes our second midfield spot for his heroics in the English EFL Championship with Reading FC. Reading survived a narrow 1-0 win over Barnsley, which moved them to 7th on the league table. He made 2 key passes during the 90 mins.
LEFT FORWARD – CHIDERA EJUKE (STAR)
This could only have gone to Chidera Ejuke, a man already poised to become one of Nigeria’s biggest footballing exports.
The 23-year-old has been consistent throughout the season. Dazzling in the Russian Premier League with his quick feet and twinkle toes, Ejuke is simply a joy to watch.
On the other flank is “little man”, Akinkunmi Amoo. His 80th minute goal for Hammarby IF sealed an impressive 1-0 victory over AIK and earned him a spot in our Team of the Week.
CENTRE FORWARD – SIMEON NWANKWO
Although Salernitana lost to Spezia in the Italian Serie A, on-loan player Simy Nwankwo finally got off the mark. He scored his first Serie A goal for Salernitana in their 2-1 defeat. He also created two chances for his side who currently sit at the bottom of the league table.
Naturally, we’ll expect more goals to come from the Crotone loanee.
CENTRE FORWARD – VICTOR OSIMHEN
Victor… Osimhen!!! was the chant at the Diego Maradona stadium after the 22-year-old Nigeria international fired Napoli back to the top of the Italian Serie A table.
Osimhen is growing into a crowd favourite in Naples, and once again proved why they spent so much money to sign him. He rose highest in the 81st minute to head Elif Elmas’ cross past Torino’s goalkeeper and hand Napoli the win with only nine minutes to go.
Osimhen has scored five goals in seven league appearances so far this season and does not look to be slowing down anytime soon.
What do you think of the Team of the Week? Who missed out? Leave a comment or reaction below.