Performance, financial worth of Nigeria’s top strikers (Part 2)

Mazino Dickson

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Following the successful resumption of the German Bundesliga, it appears football is almost certain to return across many European states.

Of great interest are the performance and financial worth of Nigerian strikers in the continent’s top leagues.

Last week, we looked at Victor Osimihen, Cyriel Dessers, Odion Ighalo,  David Okeke and Samuel Chukwueze.

The following players will be accessed: Moses Simon, Kelechi Iheanacho, Samuel Kalu, Emmanuel Dennis, and Alex Iwobi.

Moses Simon

A gifted winger that can operate from both sides of the flanks, Simon went on-loan from Spanish outfit Levante to FC Nantes. This followed limited playing time in La Liga.

But since arriving France, Simon has left the French Ligue 1 in awe thanks to a cultured right-foot that has seen the 24-year old score five goals with five assists in equal measure.

Simon also found his poaching instincts in the Coupe de la Ligue (three goals) and the Coupe de France (One goal) respectively.

Before he left Spain for France, the Kaduna indigene was worth $4.5 Million; his market value shot to $8 Million.

But due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Simon is valued at $6 Million.

Already the management of Nantes is bent on turning his loan deal into a permanent one.

Emmanuel Dennis 

Emmanuel B. DENNIS of Club Brugge during the Champions League match between Paris Saint Germain and Club Bruges at Parc des Princes on November 6, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dave Winter/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

The 23-year old burst into football fame in 2018 when he put up a solid performance for Belgian side Club Brugge in their 2-2 draw against Real Madrid in UEFA champions league match in Spain.

Since then he has been under the spotlight with speculations linking him to several big clubs.

But the Nigerian left-winger has focused on his goal-scoring duties for Brugge with a decent report card.

COMPETITION APPERANCES GOALS ASSISTS MINUTES PER GOAL MINUTES PER GAME
JUPILER PRO LEAGUE 20 5 5  244 1221
BEKER VAN BELGIE 2 0 0   0 137
CHHAMPIONS LEAGUE QL 4 1 1 207 207
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 6 2 2 229 458
EUROPA LEAGUE 1 1 0 90 90

Source: Goal Meter

Aside his goal-scoring sense, Dennis is also good in the air and is quite sumptuous with sweet in-swingers.

His efforts culminated in Club Brugge being crowned Belgian league champions last Friday.

With a market value of 13.50 Million, Dennis will be sort after during the transfer period.

 

Samuel Kalu

They don’t call this Abia-bundle-of-talent spicy for anything. His ball skills, acceleration and raking passes stand him out.

However, it appears the health scare that hit him while playing for the Super Eagles at the 2019 AFCON in Egypt limited his appearances for French club Bordeaux – scoring only once with twenty appearances in the league 1.

But with the long COVID-19 break, the 6.50m million rated Kalu should be very fit for next season – since the French league calendar has been abandoned and Paris Saint Germain declared the winner.

Alex Iwobi

Soccer Football – Premier League – Aston Villa v Everton – Villa Park, Birmingham, Britain – August 23, 2019 Everton’s Alex Iwobi REUTERS/Eddie Keogh EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

When he joined Everton from home club Arsenal for 25.50 Million, a lot was expected from the nephew of Super Eagles legend Austin Okocha.

Quick with both feet, solid aerial ability and the intelligence to drop deep into the midfield makes Iwobi a must have.

But so far it has not turned out to be the type of dream move envisaged.

The 24-year old has been bogged down by persistent injuries, which have restricted him to one goal in eighteen Premiership matches and one goal in four League cup games.

Fans will hope to see a healthier Iwobi next season considering the long break forced by COVID-19. But for now, he is still valued at 25.50 Million.

Kelechi Iheanacho

Iheanacho has had a mixed bag of fortunes since he led Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets to U-17 World Cup glory in 2013.

Signed by big spenders Manchester City in 2014, he was expected to bring his speed, uncanny goal-scoring prowess as well as his game-reading ability to bear.

Not hitting the lights, the 24-year old headed to Leicester City in 2017 and remained a bit-part player till club record scorer Jamie Vardy got injured in late 2019.

Right on queue, the 12.00 Million rated striker got more playing time and hit the back of the net 3 goals and 4 assists in 20 appearances (EPL), 4 goals in 4 appearances (EFL) and 1 goal in 2 FA Cup appearances. These performances have helped Leicester to hold on to the third position – a vital need if UEFA Champions League qualification is going to be possible.

Coach Brendan Rogers would count on the Imo-state player to get his team over the finish line.

 

 

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