[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ince the times of legendary players like Nwankwo Kanu and Skippo Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, Nigerian footballers have constantly flocked top European leagues, especially the English Premier League.
In that light, let’s look at the latest happenings in the world of Nigerian footballers playing in the United Kingdom. And apart from football, Nigerians are doing pretty well in the American NFL as well.
Odion Ighalo gets snubbed in the UEFA Champions League, again
The Nigerian international was yet again on the bench in the Red Devils’ 3-2 loss to RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, 8th December. Since Anthony Martial and Edison Cavani were earlier ruled out of the game, fans expected Ighalo to be the reasonable alternative. Especially after the few sparks he showed in the match against PSG when he came in during stoppage time.
A lot of critics and supporters believe the striker has not been given enough time or chance to prove his worth. Perhaps his loan to the Old Trafford has not been favourable. Plus, sources have been speculating that he might be considering a move back to the Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua–despite Obafemi Martins being signed as his replacement.
Ndidi’s return from injury could not have come at a better time
The 23-year-old Nigerian has become a regular feature for the Foxes week in, week out. Oyinye Wilfred Ndidi had earlier developed a groin injury in November, ruling him out for about two weeks. Leicester City lost the two matches that they played without the right-footed defending midfielder—against Liverpool and Fulham.
His introduction into the match on Sunday, December 6, was very important as he helped secure the one-goal lead by Jamie Vardy. His come-back is crucial to the club’s fight for the top spot on the league table.
Many sports betting fans are excited about his return, as the chances of winning increases with more confidence. And here’s a little something for bettors looking for which sportsbook best suits their needs.
Kelechi Iheanacho makes Jamie Vardy speak Nigerian Pidgin English
The left-footed midfielder is another Nigerian who plys his trade in his London club. Just like Ndidi, Kelechi Promise Iheanacho came on from the bench in the 69th minute to help maintain a 2-1 win. However, he is in the news for a much milder reason.
After the league win, Iheanacho posted a picture of his team celebrating the goal scored by Jamie Vardy. The pic showed Wilfred Ndidi looking at the fallen corner flag at the edge of the pitch as he wrote on his Instagram page, “… Wilf what are you looking at.”
Ndidi replied to him jokingly in Nigerian pidgin English, stating that he was looking for the corner flag that Vardy broke. The comment frenzy did not end there as the English talisman, Jamie Vardy, forwarded his comment in pidgin English as well. “No, be me do am,” as he declared that he was not the one responsible for the fallen flag.
Carlo Ancelotti develops more confidence in Alex Iwobi
The Lagos-born midfielder has only played 2034 minutes for Everton since his €27.4 million transfer from Arsenal. He played every minute of the game against Burnley over the weekend.
Bettors are hoping this increased confidence by Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti will continue for subsequent matches. The previous game against Leeds saw Everton concede a goal just a few minutes after the coach substituted Andre Gomes for the Nigerian.
Semi Ajayi lifts the spirit of his teammates after their insulting loss
The London-born Nigerian international plays for West Bromwich Albion in the EPL, featuring in the 5-1 loss to Crystal Palace over the weekend. This great defeat has placed doubt on the backline of West Brom as coach Slaven Bilic might be left with no choice but to change the club’s structure.
As a result, there is a high chance that some of the defenders that played in the last match (including Oluwasemilogo Ibidapo Ajayi) will not feature in the next game against Newcastle United on December 12.