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Five outstanding Nigerian players at the weekend


Photo: Twitter/FotoMac

Several Nigerians were on song in football leagues around the world with William Troost-Ekong settling in properly in Italy with his club Udinese. Though Ekong’s side finished with a clean sheet, he was unable beat to these outstanding five on this week’s list.

Anthony Nwakaeme

Nwakaeme seems to have taken to Turkey brilliantly as he opened his goal account for his new club with a brace against defending champions Galatasaray. The Trabzonspor forward moved from Israeli side Hapoel Be’er Sheva in the summer for an undisclosed fee but has started showing signs he is worth whatever Trabzonspor paid.  His first goal in the 25th minute was a less impressive than the second. He took a touch from Yusuf Yazici’s cut back before his deflected shot left the goalkeeper wrong-footed. In the added time of the first half, Nwakaeme served up a doozie. The 29 year old was exquisite in his execution of the goal, he dropped a shoulder and cut in from the right, sped ahead of another, showed remarkable close control to shift the ball away from a third in a packed box before firing into the bottom corner.


Nwakaeme was not on the list of invitees for the Super Eagles game against Seychelles but his performance against Gala showed he should have been considered. The forward assisted Ghanaian Caleb Ekuban’s goal in the added time of the second half. He lofted left-footed cross after toying with a defender on the left. Ekuban obliged and volleyed in from close range.

John Ogu

While Nwakaeme was playing a blinder in Turkey, his former team Hapoel Be’er Sheva team-mate John Ogu was also in his beastly mode. Ogu charged through the Maccabi Tel Aviv team from midfield to slam home ferociously past the goalkeeper. The hulking midfielder took a heavy touch from a team-mate’s pass followed through on the ball, got the ball back, galloped to the edge of the box and scored.

Blessing Eleke

Blessing was impressive in his fourth game for Swiss team Luzern as he scored his second goal of the season. The 22 year old was placed on the standby of the Super Eagles list of invitees fro the Seychelles game. Six minutes to the end of the game, the forward  scored from close range before he set up Pascal Schürpf for the team’s winner in the 94th minute.

Ogenyi Onazi

Onazi was peerless in the midfield against Galatasaray, attempting and winning four tackles and three interception. He also opened the floodgates for Trabzonspor with his goal in the 3rd minute. The midfielder shot from inside the area after Hugo Rodallega’s shot was blocked. The ball fell towards Onazi and he hammered beautifully past the goalkeeper. Trabzonspor are currently seventh on the Turkish League table.

Wilfred Ndidi

Though he was on the losing side, Ndidi showed he could duke it out with top midfielders. Faced against James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum. Ndidi held his own and was not outplayed. Ndidi covered swathes of space, attempted and completed all four of his tackles. The defensive midfielder continues to show with his performances that it won’t be long before he joins a top club.

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