Many Nigerian national team players are returning to competitive action following months of individual training, with fans undoubtedly being intrigued as to how they will fare for their respective clubs following such a strange period. The English Premier League, Spanish La Liga and German Bundesliga were among the competitions to return over recent weeks, which has seen the likes of Kelechi Ịheanachọ, Wilfred Ndidi, Samuel Chukwueze and Ola Aina take to the field. So, just what do the coming weeks have in store for Nigeria’s top players?
Riding high in the Premier League, former champions Leicester City returned to action with a 1-1 draw against Watford, with only a last gasp equaliser meaning that they missed out on all three points. Key midfielder Ndidi played 90 minutes for the Foxes, while striker Iheanacho came on in the 83rd minute for the visitors. Inheanacho has had to play second fiddle to top scorer Jamie Vardy throughout the campaign to date, however the 23-year-old could be a key player for Brendan Rodgers’ side in the final weeks of the season, especially if they are to maintain their position inside the top four. Bookmaker Betway offer odds of 1.22 for Leicester to do just that, with the displays of their Nigerian duo potentially being hugely important.
Chukwueze’s Growing Reputation in Spain
Despite being just 21, Samuel Chukwueze has already made quite a name for himself, with his career to date including two goals for the Super Eagles. The flying winger was a second half substitute for Villarreal in their narrow win over Granada on Friday evening, with Chukwueze having picked up a yellow card in what was a poor match. Villarreal are hoping to qualify for European competition come the end of the season, with Chikwueze potentially having a bid decision to make at this point, having been linked to many of Europe’s biggest clubs. The likes of Santi Cazorla and Frederic Kanoute have sung his praises over recent weeks and it would come as no surprise if a big money move materialised this summer.
Can Aina Help Torino Avoid the Drop?
Having spent his youth career at Chelsea, before ultimately only making three first team appearances for the Premier League club, Ola Aina is now a hugely important player for Italian side Torino. Aina played just over 20 minutes of their 1-1 draw against Sampdoria last time out, with the Serie A club having not played competitively since February. Torino currently sit just three points above the relegation odds in the Italian top-flight, however many of the leading betting sites in Nigeria have them at long odds to end up in Serie B next season.
With Nigerian players mostly representing clubs based in Europe’s top leagues today, football fans will be pleased to see their heroes returning to action, with the likes of Jamilu Collins, Kingsley Ehizibue, Maduka Okoye, Noah Joel Sarenren Bazee, Suleiman Abdullahi and the experienced Anthony Ujah returning in Germany too.