Nigeria is blessed with so many talented footballers who play in clubs within and outside the country. A good number of Nigerian footballers have established their name in the European scene. This includes the likes of John Mikel Obi, Kanu Nwankwo, Victor Moses, Celestine Babayaro, Joseph Yobo, Daniel Amokachi, and others. Just like these past stars have done, there are Nigerian players currently making their name in Europe. In this article, we’ll focus on the midfield. Here are the best Nigerian midfielders in Europe.
1. Alex Iwobi
Alex Iwobi doubles as a midfielder (winger) and a forward. He currently plays in the English Premier League for Everton FC and he wears the number 17 jersey for the club. Iwobi previously played for Arsenal also in the premier league where he scored 15 goals in 149 appearances. In 60 games for Everton, he has scored 4 goals. For Nigeria, Iwobi has made 45 appearances and scored a total of 9 goals. Alex Iwobi was part of the Arsenal team that won the FA Cup in 2017. He also got a silver medal when Arsenal made the finals of the UEFA Europa League in 2019.
2. Samuel Chukwueze
Samuel Chukwueze plays for Villarreal CF in the Spanish La Liga as a winger. He wears the number 11 jersey and has been part of the team since 2018 when he was promoted from Villarreal B. Samuel Chukwueze is a very skillful player and is arguably the current most skillful Nigerian midfielder. A lot of fans have compared him to the likes of Arjen Robben. He made the UEFA 50 for the future list in the 2019/2020 season. For the Villarreal main team, Samuel Chukwueze has made 101 appearances scoring 14 goals. He scored 3 goals in 17 appearances for Nigeria.
3. Wilfred Ndidi
Wilfred Ndidi plays as a defensive midfielder for Leicester and he wears the jersey number 25. He’s known as one of the main forces of the Leicester midfield due to his defensive prowess. He joined Leceister in 2017 and has since then played in 165 matches scoring 9 goals. Before moving to Leicester, Wilfred Ndidi played for Genk in the Belgian Pro League. At Genk, Wilfred played a total of 83 games scoring 7 goals. He was signed to Leicester for £17 million. Ndidi has played in 38 matches for Nigeria and is yet to score for the Super Eagles.
4. Odirah Ntephe
Odirah Ntephe plays for Bylis in the Albanian league. He wears the number 17 jersey and plays as a right midfielder. He was born in Onitsha, Anambra State. The player joined the team in 2016 and has scored 11 goals for them in 95 appearances. Although his main position is as a right midfielder, he sometimes plays as an attacking midfielder and left midfielder. He won the first division trophy with the team in the 2018/2019 season. Odirah Ntephe is one of the best Nigerian midfielders in Europe but, he’s yet to be called to represent the national team.
5. Joe Aribo
Joe Aribo is a midfielder for Rangers in the Scottish Premiership. He wears the number 7 jersey and has previously played for Charlton Athletic and Staines Town. For Rangers, the talented midfielder has made a total of 85 appearances and has scored 16 goals. For his two previous clubs, he made a combined total of 97 appearances scoring 16 goals. He’s made 6 appearances for Nigeria and has scored 2 goals. Joe Aribo won the Scottish Premiership with Rangers in the 2020/2021 season. In the 2019/2020 season, he got a silver medal in the Scottish League Cup after his team finished as runners-up.
6. Ramon Azeez
Ramon Azeez is a Granada CF player who is currently on loan to FC Cartagena; both clubs are in the Spanish division. He plays as a central midfielder and wears the number 12 jersey. Previously, Ramon Azeez has played for Almeria B, Almeria, and Lugo. His best was with the Almeria B team where he got 7 goals in 7 appearances. During his 2 year stay in Granada before his loan, the player scored 2 goals in 40 games. He was loaned to FC Cartagena in 2021 and has made just 3 appearances for the team. For the Super Eagles, Ramon Azeez has made 6 appearances.
7. Ovbokha Agboyi
Ovbokha Agboyi plays in the Slovenian League in Central Europe for Bravo. He wears the number 8 jersey for the club. For most of his career, Ovbokha Agboyi has played in the Nigerian domestic league. He’s played for Abuja FC, Bayelsa United, and Enugu rangers before leaving the country to play for Skënderbeu in 2014, then Zavrc, before moving to Bravo in 2017. During his stay at the club, Ovbokha Agboyi has made a total of 68 appearances where he’s scored a total of 11 goals. He only played for Nigeria at the Under 20 level where he made 8 appearances.
8. Frank Onyeka
Frank Onyeka plays for FC Midtjylland in the Danish Superliga. He wears the number 38 jersey and has made 111 appearances for his club since his signing. The player has scored a total of 14 goals in those 80 appearances. He won the Danish Superliga with FC Midtjylland in 2018 and 2020. He also won the Danish Cup with the team in 2019. He’s made few appearances in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. Frank Onyeka was called up to play for the national team for the first time in 2020 and he made just one appearance.
There are so many more Nigerian midfielders in Europe. However, based on current performance and the club they play for, the above players are the best Nigerian midfielders in Europe.