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John Obi Mikel, Okocha, Iwobi: Which Nigerians have the most Premier League appearances?

01:58 GMT+4 29/09/2022
Obi Mikel Kanu Iwobi
Where does the retiring Chelsea great stand among the Premier League's top Nigerian appearance-makers?
  • Kelvin Etuhu

    40. Kelvin Etuhu

    The wideman came through the ranks with Manchester City before eventually moving on, permanently, to Portsmouth.

    He also represented Bolton Wanderers in the top flight, making 10 Prem appearances through his career.

  • Ifeanyi Udeze

    39. Ifeanyi Udeze

    Currently a pundit with local Brila FM, Udeze secured a loan move to West Bromwich Albion after representing Nigeria at the 2002 World Cup.

    He’s 39th in this list, with 11 outings for the Baggies.

  • Emmanuel Emenike

    38. Emmanuel Emenike

    One of several members of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations-winning side in this list, Emenike had a brief loan spell at West Ham United in 2016.

    He made 16 appearances, failing to score, and the deal was not made permanent.

  • Sergio Aguero, Taye Taiwo - Man City vs QPR

    36. Taye Taiwo

    Magnificent left-back who peaked too soon, Taiwo made 15 appearances while on loan at Queens Park Rangers, helping Mark Hughes’ side avoid relegation.

  • Josh Maja of Stoke City and Nigeria.

    36. Josh Maja

    Maja failed to truly realise his potential since leaving Sunderland as a youngster. He made 15 Prem outings while on loan at Fulham, and is currently back in the French second tier with Girondins de Bordeaux.

  • Troost-Ekong

    35. William Troost-Ekong

    Troost-Ekong endured a tricky sole season in the Premier League with Watford last term, making 17 appearances then falling out of favour as the Hornets dropped out of the top tier.

  • Taribo West

    34. Taribo West

    Iconic former Internazionale and AC Milan defender, who spent time on loan at Derby County in the 2000-01 season.

    He managed 18 appearances for the Rams, excelling as they beat relegation and taking 31 points from a possible 42 in the process.

  • Julius Aghahowa

    33. Julius Aghahowa

    Burst onto the scene at the 2002 World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations, and went on to enjoy success in Ukraine with Shakhtar Donetsk.

    He struggled to translate this form to English football, where he failed to net in 20 outings with Wigan Athletic.

  • Ahmed Musa of Leicester

    32. Ahmed Musa

    The legendary Super Eagles skipper is Nigeria’s most capped player, but he flopped in England, scoring just twice in 21 outings for LeicesterCity.

  • Frank Onyeka - Brentford

    30. Frank Onyeka

    Currently active in the Prem with Brentford, Onyeka has 24 appearances to his name so far, without ever truly convincing that he is top flight quality.

  • Ideye Brown of West Bromwich Albion

    30. Ideye Brown

    Brown’s time in the Premier League was brief and unspectacular—a disappointment for a Nations Cup winner—with the attacker only making 24 appearances during his season with West Bromwich Albion.

  • Finidi George of Ipswich Town during the Premier League match against Sunderland played at the Stadium of Light on 18 Aug 2001

    29. Finidi George

    Widely considered a flop in the English game, Finidi made 25 appearances for IpswichTown as their Premier League hopes imploded.

  • Semi Ajayi - West Bromwich Albion

    28. Semi Ajayi

    Has spent just one season in the Premier League, making 33 appearances for West Bromwich Albion as they tumbled out of the top flight.

  • Ola Aina

    27. Ola Aina

    Aina came through the ranks at Chelsea before moving permanently to Torino in 2019, although he returned to London with Fulham on loan during the 2020-21 season. He’s played 34 times in the Prem, and it could soon be more, if West Ham United get their wish to sign him.

  • Oluwaseyi George Olofinjana

    25. Seyi Olofinjana

    Enjoyed almost a decade in English football, playing in the top two divisions of the English game. Olofinjana represented Stoke City in the top tier, making 37 outings.

  • Emmanuel Dennis of Nigeria and Watford.

    25. Emmanuel Dennis

    Despite only making 37 appearances in the Premier League, Dennis has already made a big impact on English football fans. He scored 10 goals last term, and even though he was unable to save Watford from relegation, he secured a prompt return back to the top flight with Nottingham Forest.

  • FA Cup, Millwall v Blackburn Rovers, Danny Shittu

    24. Danny Shittu

    Played in the Premier League with Bolton Wanderers, and later helped Watford evade the drop in 2006-07. He made 40 top flight appearances.

  • Sone Aluko of Hull City

    23. Sone Aluko

    Netted twice across 42 Premier League appearances with Hull City, but was ultimately unable to prevent them from tasting relegation in 2015. Aluko looked a far more accomplished player in the Championship, and is currently in the third tier with Ipswich Town.

  • Daniel Amokachi of Nigeria and Everton.

    22. Daniel Amokachi

    A Nigeria great, Amokachi didn’t quite hit it off in the Premier League, scoring just 10 goals in 43 appearances with Everton. He was more successful in the FA Cup, scoring twice in the semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur as the Toffees went on to clinch the cup—their last honour to date.

  • Isaac Success FC Watford 14072016

    21. Isaac Success

    Things simply didn’t work out for Success at Watford. He managed just two goals in 54 outings for the Hornets during his controversial injury-hit spell in Hertfordshire.

  • John Utaka

    20. John Utaka

    Best known in England for his FA Cup success with Portsmouth, Utaka made 65 outings in the Prem for Pompey, but didn’t set the top flight alight.

  • Odion Ighalo Manchester United

    19. Odion Ighalo

    Things ultimately didn’t work out for Ighalo at Manchester United, and the bulk of his 67 league outings—and all of his 16 goals—came with Watford following their promotion to the top tier.

  • Ade Akinbiyi Leicester City

    18. Ade Akinbiyi

    Akinbiyi netted 11 goals across 76 outings with Leicester City, although more had been expected after he had been recruited for £5.5 million by the Foxes to replace Liverpool-bound Emile Heskey.

  • Obafemi Martins & Lee Bowyer of Birmingham City

    17. Obafemi Martins

    One of several unfulfilled talents on this list, Martins arrived at Newcastle United following his time at Internazionale, and he’d subsequently represent Birmingham City.

    He enjoyed a decent goals-to-games ratio of 28 strikes in 92 PL appearances.

  • Ademola Lookman Leicester Wolves 2021-22

    16. Ademola Lookman

    Surprisingly high on this list, Lookman has scored 11 goals in 96 outings during a stop-start career for Everton, Fulham and LeicesterCity. He recently scored on his debut for Atalanta after signing for the Serie A side from RasenBallsport Leipzig.

  • Dickson Etuhu - AIK

    15. Dickson Etuhu

    Featured for Sunderland and Fulham in the Premier League, making 11 appearances at the base of the midfield.

  • Jay-Jay Okocha

    14. Jay-Jay Okocha

    One of the all-time great Nigerian players, few talents in the history of the PL have lit up the division quite like Okocha.

    He’s a legend at Bolton Wanderers, and made 124 apps across his time with the Trotters and HullCity.

  • Peter Odemwingie of Stoke City

    13. Peter Odemwingie

    Arguably underrated for all he achieved with—in particular—West Bromwich Albion, Odemwingie ended his Prem career with 36 goals in 129 outings.

    It’s a surprise he only netted 10 goals for the Super Eagles across over 60 appearances for the West African giants.

  • Efan Ekoku of Norwich City

    12. Efan Ekoku

    Nigeria’s pioneer in the Premier League, Ekoku was an Africa Cup of Nations winner in 1994, and made 160 appearances in the top flight.

    He averaged just under a goal every three games with Wimbledon and NorwichCity.

  • Wilfred Ndidi - Leicester City

    11. Wilfred Ndidi

    Close to breaking into Nigeria’s Top 10, Ndidi has made 172 appearances for Leicester City since moving to the King Power Stadium.

  • Kelechi Iheanacho of Leicester City and Nigeria.

    10. Kelechi Iheanacho

    He’s Nigeria’s top active scorer in the Premier League, and has made 174 appearances with Manchester City and then Leicester City.

    The forward remains a useful Prem operator, even if he hasn’t truly matched the trajectory that was once expected of him.

  • Celestine Babayaro

    9. Celestine Babayaro

    Long-time servant with Chelsea, Babayaro won a series of cup competitions with the Blues largely during their pre-Roman Abramovich era. He made 179 appearances during his time at StamfordBridge and with Newcastle United.

  • Everton's Alex Iwobi during the Premier League match at Goodison Park.

    8. Alex Iwobi

    The highest Nigerian appearance-maker still active in the top flight, Iwobi has 190 outings across his time with Arsenal and Everton.

    Iwobi could move into the top six on this list before the current season is out.

  • Victor Anichebe - West Bromwich Albion

    7. Victor Anichebe

    A striker who arguably had it all, Anichebe didn’t quite realise the career trajectory that was expected when he broke onto the scene at Everton.

    He nonetheless scored 26 goals across 204 appearances during his time with the Toffees, West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland.

  • Victor Moses

    6. Victor Moses

    Still an active player, and currently on the books of Spartak Moscow, Moses has registered 220 appearances in the top flight.

    Best known for his successes with Chelsea, Moses also featured for Wigan Athletic, Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Stoke City, amassing 220 outings in total.

  • Joseph Yobo - Everton

    5. Joseph Yobo

    Defensive stalwart and Nations Cup winner with Nigeria, Yobo made 228 appearances across eight years of service for Everton. He also represented Norwich City.

  • John Obi Mikel Chelsea

    4. John Obi Mikel

    Amassed 249 league outings with Chelsea during his storied tenure with the club, Mikel also won the Premier League twice, not to mention a host of other major honours with the Blues.

  • Yakubu Aiyegbeni

    3. Yakubu

    Nigeria’s all-time top scorer in the Premier League, Yakubu was a major goal threat wherever he went; with Everton, Blackburn Rovers, Middlesbrough and Portsmouth.

    He scored 95 goals in the top flight, with those strikes coming across 252 outings.

  • Nwankwo Kanu

    2. Nwankwo Kanu

    Legendary Nigeria striker who enjoyed historic stints at each of Arsenal, West Bromwich Albion and Portsmouth. He’s second on the all-time Nigerian apps in the Prem list with 273 outings.

  • Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi

    1. Shola Ameobi

    A loyal servant to Newcastle United, Ameobi spent 14 years of his senior career with his beloved Magpies. In total, he made 294 Prem outings with Newcastle, and a further four at Crystal Palace in 2014-15.