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Power Ranking every Nigerian in the Premier League

11:12 EAT 05/08/2022
Southampton and Nigeria midfielder Joe Aribo.
GOAL grades players of Nigerian descent with the English top flight set to commence on Friday

The 2022-23 Premier League season begins on Friday with Arsenal travelling to bogey side Crystal Palace, looking to avenge last season’s 3-0 defeat by the Eagles.

Michael Olise is likely to miss out at Selhurst Park, but Eberechi Eze — fresh from an encouraging pre-season — ought to feature against the Gunners.

In this feature, GOAL rank the Nigeria internationals or players of Nigerian descent likely to play in this year’s campaign.

  • Carney Chukwuemeka Chelsea 2022-23

    Carney Chukwuemeka

    Chelsea unexpectedly made the former Aston Villa man their fourth signing this summer, although it remains to be seen how involved the 18-year-old will be this season.

    Indeed, Chukwuemeka likes to carry the ball aggressively and looks to beat his man when he can, but he can still be erratic in possession, giving it away in dangerous areas.

    The green teenager undoubtedly has room for improvement.

  • Frank Onyeka of Brentford.

    Frank Onyeka

    The Brentford man had an underwhelming debut season in England before an injury sustained in Nigeria’s World Cup playoff versus Ghana effectively ended his campaign.

    While his intensity off the ball and strength in the tackle often caught the eye, Onyeka seldom pulled up trees in possession for Thomas Frank’s outfit last season.

  • Tosin Adarabioyo

    Tosin Adarabioyo

    The durable Adarabioyo may still have doubts about being good enough at this level, but an impressive campaign in Fulham’s promotion season puts him in good stead heading into this season.

    Indeed, the Anglo-Nigerian is safety first in his approach, often clearing the ball from harm’s way instead of playing his way out of danger.

    His low volume of tackles suggests a player who seldom gets stuck into challenges but a strong presence in the air demonstrates his ability in that area.

  • Taiwo Awoniyi Nottingham Forest 2022-23

    Taiwo Awoniyi

    While the erstwhile Union Berlin frontman had a strong campaign in Germany last season, scoring 15 times, he remains an unknown quantity in the Premier League.

    The jury is still out on the marksman who fired blanks in pre-season, especially as Nottingham Forest have made a slew of additions to their playing squad.

    Be that as it may, Awoniyi’s threat running onto through balls and menace inside the penalty area mean Premier League defences may find him to be a handful this season.

  •  Eberechi Eze of Nigeria and Crystal Palace.

    Eberechi Eze

    Now fit again after an Achilles injury halted his progress last term, Eze’s ability in possession was sorely missed for the majority of the campaign.

    With a pre-season under his belt, the former Queens Park Rangers playmaker ought to display all the attributes that made him a Premier League prospect in his debut season.

  • Kelechi Iheanacho of Leicester City and Nigeria.

    Kelechi Iheanacho

    No doubt a top match-winner on his day, Iheanacho slipped down the Leicester City pecking order last season, with Brendan Rodgers moving away from a two-man frontline.

    ‘Seniorman’ still packs a punch when he is trusted, demonstrating his knack for scoring from nothing, but the absence of any real guarantees of match action means he does not rank higher.

  • Dominic Solanke

    Dominic Solanke

    A storming Championship campaign saw Solanke responsible for 36 of Bournemouth’s 74 league goals.

    This was 48.7 percent of the Cherries’ strikes en route to promotion, and the former Chelsea and Liverpool man will look to prove he can cut it in the big time.

    Not only does he possess a goalscoring threat, the 24-year-old’s link-up and combination play mean he contributes even when he is not putting the ball in the back of the net.

  • Joe Aribo - Southampton

    Joe Aribo

    Aribo already showed what could lie in store for Southampton fans when he ran half the length of the St Mary’s Stadium turf before scoring in a friendly encounter with Villarreal.

    The versatile operator not only carries a goalscoring threat for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men, but his ability also to fashion opportunities for his colleagues makes him an asset to the South Coast side.

  • Wilfred Ndidi - Leicester City

    Wilfred Ndidi

    One of the league’s anchormen needs no introduction.

    Injuries blighted Ndidi’s run in the Leicester side last season and Rodgers will hope one of the best players in his position suffers no further setbacks this time around.

    The Super Eagle’s ability to regain possession is remarkable and the Foxes are a better side whenever he is fit as a fiddle.

  • Michael Olise

    Michael Olise

    While another layoff means Olise has not had a pre-season for two summers running at Palace, last season demonstrated his adaptability to new environments.

    Vieira admittedly eased him into a debut Premier League season, but the youngster was undaunted by the top division, often showing the positive ball-carrying and creative edge to trouble the opposition.

    When the Eagles get him back, more stellar performances are expected from the former Reading playmaker.

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

    Alex Iwobi

    Iwobi may have divided opinion at the turn of the year, but his form since Everton’s managerial change have elevated him to a vital cog in Frank Lampard’s side.

    Capable of playing in multiple roles in midfield or wide areas, the ex-Arsenal man was near-irreplaceable at the backend of 2021-22.

    The 26-year-old will look to show the same positive elements in his game as the Merseyside club aim to end higher this season after last year’s fear of relegation.