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Top 3 Nigerian Footballers To Keep An Eye On In 2022

Feyenoord v Sparta Rotterdam - Dutch Eredivisie Photo by Herman Dingler/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Nigerian footballers are considered some of the most talented and physically gifted in all of Africa which is one of the main reasons why their stock in European football is always on a constant rise. If you look at any of the leading sports betting platforms, like the ones that are presently focusing on the American Super Bowl lines, you’ll see that the Super Eagles are regarded as one of the perennial favorites in all competitions they are in, even if they end up flunking unexpectedly like what sadly happened in the AFCON 2021 Tournament.

Still, with the AFC World Cup qualifiers coming up in March and a plethora of talented Nigerian footballers giving plenty to speak off all over Europe, we bring you a list of our picks for the top three Nigerian footballers all Super Eagles football fans should be keeping an eye on in 2022. Let’s take a look.

Joe Aribo, (Rangers FC, Scotland)

After starting his career out slowly with loan spells in lower-tiered English teams such as Staines Town and Charlton Athletic, London-born Nigerian midfield sensation Joe Aribo made his way to Glasgow to join to Scottish football powerhouse Rangers FC and become one of the most pivotal players in the team, being an instrumental player in last season’s Rangers title run in his second season with the club.

Now in his third season, his star power and talents continue to grow and some experts are even starting to compare him to another former Nigerian football great that dazzled European football fans in his prime days, Jay-Jay Okocha. Only time will tell what’s in store for the Nigerian attacking midfielder, but If Nigeria manages to make it to Qatar 2022 and Aribo continues on the rise, he will surely be a player that will give plenty to talk about soon.

Maduka Okoye, (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

One of the main characteristics of Nigerian football is the fact that the Super Eagles have always had some very strong and important goalkeepers, with Maduka Okoye, the line continues successfully. Now, while there have been some critics that have blamed Okoye’s performance against Tunisia as the main reason why Nigeria was ousted from the 2021 AFCON tournament, the truth of the matter is that it wasn’t Maduka’s fault, it was more of a team fault scenario and that still should derail the fact that at 22-years old Okoye is becoming one of the best goalkeepers in Africa for the foreseeable future.

After starting his career out in Germany, it didn’t take long for Maduka to make the leap to Dutch football with Sparta Rotterdam were given his performances and skills he ended up becoming one of the best young goalkeepers in the Eredivisie. Now, after having signed with EPL team Watford but playing with Sparta on loan until the end of the present season, the future seems very promising for Maduka but more so for both Watford and the Super Eagles.

Victor Osimhen (Napoli, Italy)

Nigeria has a slew of attackers from where to choose from when wanting to form a stellar attacking core for any competition. But even with the best strategy and player pairings that can arise, at the end of the day, it’s not foolish to say and accept that Nigeria’s best bet at striking and goal-scoring is Napoli’s striker Victor Osimhen. If you look at his numbers with the Italian powerhouse team, it’s not hard to understand why Osimhen is slowly becoming one of the most sought-after attackers from clubs all around Europe’s strongest leagues, with the English Premier League offering the Nigerian goal scorer the most attractive options for a potential move in the summer transfer window.

With a total of 19 goals in 46 games for Napoli across all competitions ever since joining them in 2020 away from French side Lille, where he bagged a very respectable 18 goals in 38 appearances for the team it’s very simple to see why Nigeria’s attacking game should be spearheaded by Osimhen moving forward, even after having missed the 2021 AFCON tournament. For the AFC World Cup qualifying playoffs against Ghana and in a potential stint in Qatar 2022, Osimhen could end up becoming a crucial piece for a Nigerian national team looking to once again make it past the group stages of the World Cup tournament and into the knockout rounds.